masto-, mast-, -mastia, -masty +

(Greek: breast; the front of the human chest and either of two soft rounded organs on each side of the chest in women and men; however, with women the organs are more prominent and produce milk after childbirth; also, a milk-producing gland in mammals that corresponds to the human breast)

mastectomy (s), mastectomies (pl) (nouns)
The surgical removal of the entire breast, usually to treat serious breast disease; such as, breast cancer: "In mastectomy, doctors remove the entire breast, a major chest muscle, and lymph glands in the armpit in an effort to make sure that the cancer has been eliminated."

There are four general types of mastectomy

  1. Subcutaneous mastectomy when the entire breast is removed but the nipple and areola (the pigmented circle around the nipple) remain in place.
  2. Total (or simple) mastectomy or the removal of the whole breast, but not the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes).
  3. Modified radical mastectomy or the removal of the whole breast and most of the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary dissection).
  4. Radical mastectomy which is the removal of the chest wall muscles (pectorals) in addition to the breast and axillary lymph nodes. For many years, this operation was considered the standard for women with breast cancer, but it is rarely used today.
  5. While the patient is anesthetized (unconscious and pain-free), an incision is made into the breast. The breast tissue is removed from the overlying skin and the underlying muscle.

    When an axillary dissection is done, it is typically via the same incision.

    One or two small plastic drains are usually left in place to prevent fluid from collecting in the space where the breast tissue used to be.

    It is possible to reconstruct the breast (with artificial implants or native tissue) at the same operation (immediate reconstruction) or at a later date, after other necessary treatments are given (delayed reconstruction).

Ulceration of the breast.
Inflammation of one or more mammary glands witin the breast, usually in a lactating woman.

Mastitis can be felt as a hard, sore spot within the breast and it can be caused by an infection in the breast or by a plugged milk duct.

Treatment includes resting and applying warm compresses to the affected area, and for those who are lactating, it helps to nurse a baby and to express (squeeze out) milk frequently.

"Expressing milk" refers to using the fingers to rhythmically compress a breast so milk comes out, which is collected in a sterile container. It is an alternative to a manual or electric pump.

Mastitis is most common in women during breastfeeding in the second or third postpartum week; however, it may occur at any age.

The importance of personal hygiene and general care of the breasts is emphasized for breast-feeding mothers.

Mothers are encouraged to get adequate rest and drink copious fluids.

Carcinoma of the breast.

Carcinoma refers to cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs; for example, carcinoma can arise in the breast, colon, liver, lung, prostate, and stomach.

Cartilaginous (connective tissue) breast tumor.
1. A large extinct mammal that resembled an elephant, with shaggy hair and two sets of tusks; Genus Mastodon.
2. Etymology: from Modern Latin, the genus name Mastodon (1806), coined by Georges Cuvier from Greek mastos, "breast" + odont-, "tooth"; so called because of the nipple-like projections on the crowns of the extinct mammal's fossil molars.
Referring to, or resembling, a mastodon; such as, mastodontic dimensions.
1. Pain in the breast.
2. A type of mammary dysplasia, or abnormality of development, in which pain and tenderness are prominent symptoms.
A radiogram of the breast or breasts.
1. Radiography of the mammary glands; mammography.
2. Radiography of the breast.

For women over the age of 50, it is recommended that this be done yearly to screen for breast cancer that may not be discovered during other types of breast examinations.

The branch of medicine concerned with the study of the breasts.
A tumor or swelling of the breasts.
A reference to any disease or ailment of the breasts.
mastopathy (s) (noun), mastopathy (pl)
Any disease of the mammary (breast) gland: When Mrs. Lawson had her regular check-up, Dr. Smith told her that there was no sign of any kind of mastopathy, and that she had normal and healthy breasts.
1. Plastic surgery which is done to lift or to reshape the breasts.
2. Plastic surgery to affix sagging breasts in a more elevated and normal position, often with some improvement in shape.

Cross references of word families that are related, partially or totally, to: "breast, breasts, chest": mammill-; mammo-; mastoido-; mazo-; pectoro-; pleuro-; sterno-; stetho-; thorac-.