MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mastitis. Coloured mammogram (breast X-ray) showing plasma cell mastitis, inflammation of the breast. Hardened and thickened sections of the milk ducts and lymphatic tissue are seen as disc- ontinuous red/dark blue lines. These result from areas of trapped lymphatic fluid being attacked by the immune system. Plasma cells, white blood cells and fatty acid crystals accumulate in these regions, leading to degeneration of the fatty tissue. Symptoms include the formation of a hard lump under the nipple, which becomes swollen and painful, and may exude a cloudy discharge. Plasma cell mastitis is an uncommon form of mastitis. It may be similar in appearance to breast cancer.
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