I am 57,overweight,never had children.My last period was about 5 years ago.I have never taken birth control pills. For the last couple of months I have had a raised vein in my left breast which is very painful to touch.The pain seems to be localised at a junction where two veins meet.There is no swelling or nipple discharge.I regularly check my breasts and I can find no lumps or swellings anywhere.Could this be a sign of cancer?I've heard that mammography is very painful so I am afraid to go to the clinic.What do you advise? Thank you.
Dear afia: Veins are not a usual sign of breast cancer. Having said that, you should have it examined by your doctor, especially since it is causing you significant discomfort. While mammograms can be uncomfortable, most women tolerate them fairly well. It is a good and useful screening tool that you should consider regardless of the veins.
Mammograms are not painful, per se. However they can be uncomfortable. You will feel a compression of the breast and that's all. The whole ordeal, including both breasts, lasts not more than 5 minutes!
Since no one can make a diagnosis online, the only advice is to see your doctor. It could be something very minor; veins get inflamed and tender sometimes. It's called "phlebitis." It's not all that rare with breast veins, especially when the breasts are large. But there's no way to get very meaningful info from someone who can't see and evaluate it directly. Any new symptoms in your breasts ought to be evaluated.
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