Diagnosis

Tests to evaluate your condition may include:

  • Clinical breast exam. Your doctor checks for changes in your breasts, examining your breasts and the lymph nodes in your lower neck and underarm. Your doctor will likely listen to your heart and lungs and check your chest and abdomen to determine whether the pain could be related to another condition. If your medical history and the breast and physical exam reveal nothing unusual, you may not need additional tests.
  • Mammogram. If your doctor feels a breast lump or unusual thickening, or detects a focused area of pain in your breast tissue, you'll need an X-ray exam of your breast that evaluates the area of concern found during the breast exam (diagnostic mammogram).
  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound exam uses sound waves to produce images of your breasts, and it's often done along with a mammogram. You might need an ultrasound to evaluate a focused area of pain even if the mammogram appears normal.
  • Breast biopsy. Suspicious breast lumps, areas of thickening or unusual areas seen during imaging exams may require a biopsy before your doctor can make a diagnosis. During a biopsy, your doctor obtains a small sample of breast tissue from the area in question and sends it for lab analysis.
Dec. 31, 2015
References
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  2. Jokich PM, et al. ACR Appropriateness Criteria breast pain. American College of Radiology (ACR). https://acsearch.acr.org/docs/3091546/Narrative/. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  3. Rapkin AJ, et al. Premenstrual syndrome. First consult. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  4. Balleyguiera C, et al. Breast pain and imaging. Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. 2015;96:1009.
  5. Mastalgia (breast pain). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/breast-disorders/mastalgia-breast-pain. Accessed Oct. 24, 2015.
  6. Rodden AM. Common breast concerns. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2009;36:103.
  7. Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 1, 2015.
  8. Rikers A. Breast Disease:  Comprehensive Management. New York, N.Y.: Springer; 2015: 79.
  9. Vitamin E fact sheet for consumers. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/. Accessed November 11, 2015.