Aging changes in the breast


With aging, a woman’s breasts lose tissue and subcutaneous fat, reducing the size and fullness of her breasts. There is also a decrease in the number of mammary ducts.

The breasts lose support. Aging breasts commonly flatten and sag, and the nipple may invert slightly. The areola (the area surrounding the nipple) becomes smaller and may nearly disappear. Loss of hair around the nipple is common.

Breast cancer risk increases with age. Women should perform monthly breast self-examinations. However, because breast self-exams do not always pick up early stages of breast cancer, women should also talk to their health care providers about mammograms.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised:

Diseases and Conditions Center

  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.