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painful reddish breast

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I have a history of benign tumors in both breasts, but mainly my right. After last biopsy (they took a great deal of tissue along with tumors) cleared me of any cancer, I was told to follow up with mammograms every year. My last one was two years ago, and the doctor cleared me to wait until I was 40 to get my next one. I am 38 now, and have had sore breasts, but mainly right. It has gotten worse and worse, and I have lumps but hard to distinguish from prior lumps. Now my right armpit has been very tender, and sore when I move my arm for the past 4 weeks. Doesn't seem to coincide with menstrual cycle at all.
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replied October 4th, 2009
Unfortunately, breast pain and breast lumps are very common in women your age. Additionally, mammograms are much less sensitive in young women with dense breasts and benign proliferative lesions, such as in your case.

If you (or your doctor) believe that you have one or more new lumps in either breast (or in the armpit area), then these will need to be worked-up, just as before. In addition to mammograms, given the density of your breasts and the preexisting lumps, an ultrasound of any areas of concern should also be performed.

Any suspicious breast or armpit lumps should be biopsied (either with a needle biopsy or with an excisional biopsy).

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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