Most women who see a doctor for breast pain and lumpiness learn that they have fibrocystic, or cyclic, breast changes. Because this is a common condition that has nothing to do with cancer, this is good news. But if you have a new lump that does not go away after a menstrual period, it might not be cyclic. If you are not sure whether your symptoms are cyclic and harmless, see your doctor for a clinical breast exam.
Because fibrocystic breast pain and lumps are a noncancerous condition, most women who have it do not require additional exams or tests. If your doctor needs more information to make a firm diagnosis or if you need reassurance, your doctor may recommend:
- A mammogram
- A breast ultrasound
In some cases, your doctor may also recommend:
- A urine or blood pregnancy test if there is a chance that you may be pregnant. Breast tenderness and a missed period are signs of possible pregnancy.
- A breast needle biopsy, which involves using a hollow needle to withdraw a small amount of tissue for testing.
- An MRI, which uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide computerized pictures of the breast. An MRI can show trauma, infection, inflammation or tumors.
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