A woman’s breast changes monthly, depending on what is going on in a woman’s life cycle. Just like women’s bodies, breasts come in all shapes and sizes. Breast tissue changes as we age, and the left one may be different than the right one. How they look and feel is partly influenced by menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, nutrition, breastfeeding, and the aging process. Breasts tend to sag with hormonal changes due to breast feeding, menopause, and aging.

Breast pain that comes and goes is usually caused by excess hormonal stimulation of the breast from too much estrogen, excessive caffeine, or chronic stress. It is not a risk for breast cancer! Dr. Christiane Northrup says, “The link between breast pain and breast cancer is very low, less than one percent.”

Breasts are composed of fat, fiber, and glands, with a delicate system of ligaments and lymph nodes. The glands are ready to make milk, the fiber supports breasts and holds up the glands, and the fat cushions and puffs up the breast. All women have different amounts of these three components, determined by their genes. Over time, the ratio of fat changes to more connective tissue and breasts become denser.

Circulation in the breast is the same as in the rest of the body—consisting of arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymph vessels. The arteries bring oxygen, fresh blood, and nutrition to the cells. Veins take blood back from the cells, ridding them of cellular waste and toxins.

Breasts do not have muscles to help move this waste or a pumping system to circulate and drain away toxins. Getting to know your breasts is an important part of a balanced health routine. Caring for them daily becomes more important throughout the aging process.

According to Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, “The breasts represent the mothering principle. When there are problems with the breasts, it usually means we are over mothering either a person, a place, a thing, or an experience … If cancer is involved, then there is also deep resentment.”

Unfortunately, no matter what a woman’s breasts are like, there will always be someone who will degrade them. What makes it even sadder is that, very often, other women will participate in the put-downs, including the owner of the boobs.

Breasts want to hang around till death do we part. Appreciate them and care for them. Big or small, young or old, there is always time to give them a loving lymphatic breast self-massage.

Excerpt from my book “Breast Health Is in Your Hands”