Duct Ectasia of Breast - Pathogenesis

Pathogenesis

The duct widening is commonly believed to be a result of secretory stasis, including stagnant colostrum, which also causes periductal inflammation and fibrosis. However because nonspecific duct widening is common it might be also coincidental finding in many processes.

Smokers seem more often affected by duct ectasia syndrome although the reported results are not entirely consistent. The correlation with smoking status appears weaker than for subareolar abscess. Correlation with the actual duct widening is not known.

Both duct widening and duct ectasia syndrome are frequently bilateral, hence systemic causes are likely involved.

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Pathogenesis

The pathogenesis of a disease is the mechanism by which the disease is caused. The term can also be used to describe the origin and development of the disease and whether it is acute, chronic or recurrent. The word comes from the Greek pathos, "disease", and genesis, "creation".

Types of pathogenesis include microbial infection, inflammation, malignancy and tissue breakdown.

Most diseases are caused by multiple pathogenetical processes together. For example, certain cancers arise from dysfunction of the immune system (skin tumors and lymphoma after a renal transplant, which requires immunosuppression).

Often, a potential etiology is identified by epidemiological observations before a pathological link can be drawn between the cause and the disease.

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