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How is breast malignancy or lipoma treated ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
29 5'6" 185 My wife has a small lump under her left arm. She gave birth to two children now ages 4 and 2. After the first one was born she had underarm pain a short time after that radiates throughout her left whole arm. It hasn't gotten better since. It causes her a lot of pain that she can hardly do anything. She didn't breastfeed either child as milk didn't come out the nipple like it should. She has had an ultrasound and nothing has been found. Doctor says it is not the lymph node and could be extra breast tissue but aren't sure. I think it could be a clogged milk duct but wouldn't that go away and not last 4 years? The surgeon doesn't know what it is but wants to "take out" the excessive tissue. I would like to know what her pain probably is and how to fix it.
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

Based on the symptoms that you have described, three possibilities need to be ruled out.
1) I agree with the doctors, it can be an 'accessory breast tissue' or 'supernumerary breast tissue'. This occurs in 2-6% of females and has no physiologic significance. But some may enlarge with the onset of puberty, pregnancy, or lactation, and can be the site of breast carcinoma.

2)     Second possibility is of any 'breast malignancy'. This has to be ruled out. Any growth under the arms which has been present for some times and causing pain or lump needs to evaluated for breast tumours. Breast cancer has to be ruled out irrespective of the age.

3)     Third possibility is of 'lipoma' which is a benign fatty tumor causing pain in the area and radiating to the arm when it presses on underlying nerves.

It does not look like a clogged pore.

To rule out these three possibilities your wife needs to get a mammography which is a more sensitive test than an ultrasound. If mammography comes positive then a FNAC (fine needle aspiration cyrtology) needs to be done.

FNAC is aspiration of the material of the glands which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe.

Treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.


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