I am a 45 yr old woman, post menopausel. I had a total hysterectomy when I was 29. Last summer, I began experiencing intense left breast pain and that breast has enlarged and itches. I went from an A cup to a B cup in the left breast. I had an ultrasound and mammo last summer which were normal. A few weeks ago I had another diagnostic mammo and ultrasound, both normal. The only thing the radiologist noted was that my left breast had a significant increase in size compared to the mammo of last summer. The only other symptons that I have is a few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and it felt like my left breast was on fire. I do not have any rashes/or redness. The pain has recently moved into my left armpit as well and I can see an extreme change in the appearance of my left breast as opposed to my right. My gyno did not note any lumps/masses on my breast exam but she has scheduled me to see a surgeon. The only history of breast cancer in my family is my maternal grandmother. Any idea of what could be going on?
Your post-menopausal status may not totally eliminate the fact that your condition can still be due to residual hormonal changes in your body. The adrenal glands still pump up a significant amount of estrogens through the aromatase enzyme, especially for other women with increased body fat. In your situation, another possibility is an occult infection, which can have a concomitant breast discharge. This can also be an uncommon presentation of a malignancy. There are types of breast cancer that do not light up on mammogram or ultrasound (like Lobular cancers) and are imaged better by MRI. You can discuss these options with your doctor and I'm hoping the real cause can be ascertained.
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