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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Post menopausal. Have tender breast, headache and rib pain. Chances of breast cancer?

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Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed

OBGYN

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 689 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 21 Dec 2012 in Women's Health
Question: I am 61 and post menopausal for ten years. I have had right breast tenderness for one week, along with rib pain on that side. I also have woken up with headaches all week. I have an appt. with my GP on Tuesday, but please alleviate my worry about breast cancer!! I had a mammo in March 2012, but have been reading about Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and I am scared. I do NOT have inverted nipples, extra warmth in the breast, or a rash, but there is one tiny red spot on that breast. There is a tender spot about five inches down from the right armpit. I did have a dull ache in that breast about three weeks ago, but attributed it to the fact that I had done a lot of leaf raking in the yard, and I am right handed. When I was nursing my babies, I got frequent mastitis and this feels a little bit like that felt. HELP!!
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Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 43 minutes later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

All tender spots or breast pain DO NOT indicate cancer.

Moreover your last mammogram which was done few months back was normal.
After 50 years of age, yearly mammograms are recommended.

Breast cancer is diagnosed with physician and self examination of the breasts for lumps , mammography, ultrasound testing and biopsy of any lump felt.

You do not have any lump. Besides the tenderness you have in an area of your breast could be due to trauma sustained while working which has gone unnoticed by you.
Lack of proper breast support can further lead to dull aching pain in the breast if they are heavy.

The risk of breast cancer is higher if you have relatives(sister, mother or daughter) with the disease. Alcohol, obesity further increase the risk.

Past history of Mastitis DOES NOT increase the risk of breast cancer. Also breast feeding and having children is protective for breast cancer.

I hope I have answered your query.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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