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dull ache just below air pit and along outer rim of left breast

By Anonymous January 5, 2015 - 6:25pm
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Hello, I am 60 years old, and have not had a period for about 5 years. All of my life my breasts have been lumpy and the left breast especially has been tender. It stopped for awhile but in the past year it has returned almost all of the time. It's like a heaviness and discomfort more then pain.It feels like I've pulled something but it feels that way on a regular basis. I do take care of young children and thus I'm always lifting them. I do self exams all of the time and sometimes think I'm probably aggravating things but I worry I will not be able to tell if I have a new lump. I get regular mammograms and have even had ultrasounds in the past due to the lumpiness. I thought this would end at menopause but it hasn't. Can anyone help me with a cause and hopefully a solution. I've started taking Vitamin e and I've heard evening primrose oil might help. My Mom had breast cancer at 80...and had one breast removed...no chemo, found it very early...but I worry ALL of the time! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Judy

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Judy

Thanks for your post and welcome! 

Breast pain is not only uncomfortable but worrisome. I don't know a single woman who doesn't fear breast cancer. 

You're doing the right thing by doing self-checks and getting regular mammograms. Some women do have "lumpy" breasts throughout their lives and it causes unnecessary but understandable fears. 

Breast pain is known as mastalgia and there are different kinds. Since you are post-menopausal, cyclical breast pain isn't an issue - this is caused by a woman's monthly cycle.

Another reason is arthritis of the chest cavity and neck. This causes dull "breast" pain and also in the surrounding areas (the base of your arm pit). 

I think it's a good idea to be seen by a rheumatologist to rule this out. If you do have this issue, you can begin recieving treatment. 

You also should look into the possibility that you have strained your body through child care - this is certainly a possibility. Make sure you are bending at the knees when lifting. 

Let us know how things go for you-


January 6, 2015 - 5:58am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

thank you Susan. I never gave arthritis a consideration. I am going to make an appointment with my family doctor for a physical and mention all of this to him. Hopefully it's nothing different then what has plagued me my whole life with these breasts! It hasn't bothered me for a few days, which is typical. It goes away for about 5 days then returns for about 3 weeks!

January 9, 2015 - 12:27pm
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