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Breast pain, swollen,pain in arm pit - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Women's Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1775 Questions
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   I am
Doctor :   Please type you query
User :   I have since last sunday had swollen, painful breasts and the left breast is larger and hurts into my armpit - I had a thermal ablation 11 mths ago, my ptr has had a vasectomy years ago no chance of pregnancy I am concerned have not had a period since december 2010
Doctor :   What is your age?
User :   there is no discolouration or discharge - i am happy with no period but not the pain and swelling of the breasts
User :   I am 45 years old, never had children
Doctor :   When was the last menstrual period?
User :   in december 2010 they have been getting lighter and shorter since having the thermal ablation which is great
Doctor :   Why was the thermal ablation done?
User :   heavy lengthy bleeding, i didn't want an implant so therefore the thermal ablation was decided upon - and just checked the calendar and last period was 6/1/11 sorry seems like longer
Doctor :   So were you periods normal after thermal ablation, i mean regular periods
Doctor :   and normal flow?
User :   yes they regulated and were lighter and shorter. they did say they would hopefully stop which is the final outcome i wanted, but now i seem to have the breast problem
Doctor :   Ok now let us come to the breast problem
Doctor :   When did the problem start first?
User :   last sunday so for six days now have been swollen, almost one size bigger, painful no discharge or discolouration pain in left breast is going into the armpit
Doctor :   Are you sure this started all of a sudden only on sunday?
Doctor :   Is the discoloration red?
User :   i have had sore breasts before occasionally just before period, but i first noticed it on sunday prior to that nothing hurt or seemed wrong
User :   there is no discolouration
Doctor :   So you mean to say that this time it is more than sore breasts and bother you a lot
User :   yes
Doctor :   Are you sexually active?
Doctor :   If yes, How frequent is it?
User :   yes and usually 2-3 times a week, but since sunday not at all
Doctor :   Do you think the pain has increased in severity or frequency since its onset on sunday?
User :   increased and the swelling also
Doctor :   Was the onset of pain and swelling sudden or gradual?
User :   it seemed sudden as hadn't noticed it prior
User :   i do have a stressful job with long hours which i am trying to curb back to more normal hours but i have been doing this for three years now
Doctor :   DO you have any infection any where in the body?
Doctor :   Do you take medicines for any thing?
User :   not that i am aware of......i did have a sore throat yesterday and also headaches last two days. no medication only herbal vitamins which are not new
Doctor :   Ok, this condition is called mastalgia

Doctor :   the mastalgia might be because of mastitis, inflmaation of the breast because of various reasons
User :   so how serious is this and should i go and have tests of medication to help overcome this
Doctor :   Since you are above 40 yrs, there is a need to investigate it further
Doctor :   Were you having yearly mammograms?
User :   no
Doctor :   Did not your doctor advise for yearly mammograms after you cross 40 yrs
User :   not really in australia they say over 50 but she did say i could go if i wanted to - always busy didn't really think to have one
Doctor :   Ok let me explain, since you are over 40 yrs and you were not having preventive check up with mammogram, I would suggest the following now, Mammogram and if required a Ultrasound of the breast, if the doctor feels a lump inside
Doctor :   Next before you go to the doctor you should try the following
User :   ok - i can feel the tissue is firm to the touch and swollen inside the breast
Doctor :   Sports bra - Wear a well-fitted bra can help alleviate some of the breast pain.
Doctor :   Eat a low-fat diet. Some evidence shows that high levels of saturated fats in the blood make the breasts more sensitive to hormone levels.
Doctor :   Take over the counter medicine like Ibuprofen, 200 to 400mg, twice a day
Doctor :   Apply warm or cold compresses to the breasts
Doctor :   reduce the consumption of coffee
User :   i already eat very healthy and my only real fat intake is avocado, salmon and flaxseek oil
Doctor :   Fish is good
Doctor :   Continue on it
Doctor :   You can take Ibuprofen now
Doctor :   to reduce the pain
Doctor :   and try the compresses
User :   my coffee intake has increased lately how does that affect breasts
Doctor :   Although medical studies are inconclusive, many women have noted that cutting back on caffeine improves their symptoms.
User :   i remember when i was about 22 i had some problems and had to take extra boosts of vit b and limit coffee.....
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   My idea is to reduce the pain before you visit the doctor
Doctor :   for further tests
User :   but i should still go and have the tests done to rule out anything else ?
Doctor :   yes
User :   ok don't have any ibuprofen at home so will have to get some have panadol and codeine based painkillers which are rarely ever used
Doctor :   You can have Acetaminophen group also
Doctor :   for time being
User :   acetaminophen is related to what?
Doctor :   500mg is a good dose in that case
Doctor :   Paracetmol
Doctor :   common name
User :   ok so panadol that would be good - so you think this i smore likely just an infection and tests to rule out anything sinister ?
Doctor :   Yes
Doctor :   Mastalgia has few other reasons that cannot be explained
Doctor :   Some women may have this before the onset of periods
User :   could this be related to the thermal ablation and the slowing ceasing of periods
Doctor :   Might be a reason to think of if we rule out the major reasons
Doctor :   Give me a minute pls
User :   ok thank you for your help and time will make an appt at the doc and puts my mind at ease until i can have further tests
Doctor :   I am back
Doctor :   Do you have any more queries
User :   no thank you - you have given me answers and helped with pain relief for interim period until further testing can be done. thank you
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   Pleasure
Doctor :   Bye for now
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