Sep 23, 2011
Breast pain, Mastodynia or Mastalgia represents the most common reason that women come to the doctor asking for a breast exam, says Dr. Christian Jumuga, obstetrics and gynecology specialist at the Clinic of Senology Gynecoland. “It is a very common symptom, seen in about 70% of women. Can be affected both young women, including teenagers as well as women in menopause.”
No, you don’t have cancer!
The causes of Mastodynia are not always obvious. Sometimes Mastalgia represents only a sign of physiological changes related to menstrual cycle, sometimes it is a fibrous degeneration of the mammary gland (Fibrocystic breast disease) or even a disease: infections, benign or malignant tumors.
Mastalgia can occur as a consequence of conditions in a neighboring area, which “mimics” breast pain: some heart disease,thoracic wall affection and even some biliary illness, etc. The specialist said that you don’t need to suspect “at first site” a serious condition, as recent clinical findings show that many trivial things, such as stress, excessive consumption of tea, coffee or chocolate and even some hormonal treatments are often associated with breast pains. It is true that the risk of breast cancer is relatively high and that, therefore, marketing actions on breast cancer took a planetary scale, but you shouldn’t automatically think that you have cancer when you feel breast pains.
Do yourself a “picture”
With or without publicity campaigns, with or without monthly self breast exam, if you have Mastodynia it is mandatory to go to the doctor. Tell him in what circumstances the pain occurs, where is located and how you describe it. The doctor will examine your breasts and will palpate, including the armpits and above the collarbones (places in the case of formations frequently appear malignant ganglions), then most likely it will recommend you some tests. “Breast imaging is very useful,” assures Dr. Jumuga. “In practice, as a first intention we recourse to ultrasound and breast sonoelastography. Also the mammography is useful, especially the digital one, is the latest technique of mammography.” As a powerful technique, false positive results are much more rare, unlike traditional mammography.
Mastalgia treatment - How to get rid of pain
The treatment varies depending on the cause. If your doctor didn’t find any specific disease, but the pain still is tormenting you, you will receive Anti-Inflammatory (ibuprofen, indomethacin, etc.) polyunsaturated fatty acids from primrose oil, some vitamins (E, B6). And if That doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend some hormonal preparations, which certainly will be more efficient but may have some unwanted side effects.
If the breast pain (Mastodynia) is small, you don’t need any treatment. In fact, most women go to the doctor not because they wouldn’t bear such pain, but from the fear of severe conditions (such as breast cancer).
There are cases in which the breast pain accompanies a condition and a more aggressive treatment is needed (treatment of an infection, surgical removal of tumors, etc.). Unfortunately, you can’t do anything to prevent breast pains.
The specialist however counsels you to enjoy a balanced lifestyle, to have a healthy diet and to do outdoor sports. This will help your health in general, by eliminating the risk factors responsible for the occurrence of several diseases. And even if you don’t have pain or other symptoms, don’t forget about the monthly breast self exam, the annual Senology and Gynecological consult and breast echography/sonoelastography or mammography made ??at regular intervals.
Too many mammograms?
At what age you can start doing mammography, how often and how conclusive are these analysis. American Cancer Society recommends all women to have annual mammograms from the age of 40. Meanwhile, statistics show that between 40 and 49 years old most of the false positive results appear, subjecting a lot of women to a huge emotional stress and spending the extra money for unnecessary biopsies.
In November 2009, the institution which handles the analysis of prophylaxis in the United States began to promote a current to diminuate or even to stop mammography for women under 50 years. We recommend the middle way: discussion with a specialist and personal risk assessment. After the recommendations concerning reducing the mammograms, very soon appeared similar recommendations regarding the frequency of Papanicolau test for cervical cancer. Experts say that is enough to repeat the analysis every two years.
90% accuracy has detecting breast tumors by sonoelastography, which “sees” even the tumors smaller than 2 cm (0.8 inches).
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