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Friday, October 29, 2010 mary, Community Member, asks

Q: Pinchy Pain in armpit, going into lateral side of breast

Hello, I have been having a pinchy sort of pain under my armpit going into the side of my left breast for the last month. I notice it at various times of the day, regardless of activity and when I'm not palpating it. It's a strange feeling; it doesn't seem muscular but when I press on it there is pain. When I pick up the tissues with my fingers and squeeze them, I don't feel the pain. It seems like it is in the layers of tissue above the muscle. There is no single defined stationary lump that I can find, more just a fluffy sort of array of soft masses. Palpation feels similar on the right breast (but with no pain), except it feels extra fluffy on the left. I have very small breasts. I'm wondering if mammograms get in the armpit, or if there's a different kind of test I should have (if I should have one). I'm 40 and my mom had breast cancer when she was about 53. Thank you.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/29/10 2:27pm

Mary, usually we say that when you notice any breast change, it's reasonable to wait a month, and see if it disappears. Since you say this has been going on for about a month, it's time to see a doctor about this. Your mother having had breast cancer increases your risk somewhat; so, while chances are good this is NOT cancer, you need to rule it out. You don't need to ask for any particular test; the doctor will determine what kind of diagnostic screening is necessary. Good luck to you - PJH

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By mary, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 10/29/10