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Breast Cancer

What to do?

10/23/2007

Question:

A few days ago my right breast became extremely itchy. I figured I got bit by a bug, after applying benadryl, hydrocortisone, etc nothing relieved it. Also it has always been larger than my left but dr`s were never concerned but now does not fit in regular bra. My grandmother & mother have had breast cancer. What do you think?

Answer:

Itching is not usually a sign of breast cancer but it could be. A marked change in breast size is concerning. In any event, breast changes of any sort should be seen by a physician/practitioner with some knowledge of this area. Your primary care provider or gynecologist would be a good place to start. If he/she cannot make a definite diagnosis, I would advise seeing a breast surgeon. With your family history, you should begin having mammograms by age 40 (if not earlier based on the ages of mom and grandma when diagnosed) and an annual breast exam by your physician/practitioner.

Best regards.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University