Research Article

Importance of mastalgia in operable breast cancer.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 01 May 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1299
  1. P E Preece,
  2. M Baum,
  3. R E Mansel,
  4. D J Webster,
  5. R W Fortt,
  6. I H Gravelle,
  7. L E Hughes


    The importance of pain as a presenting symptom of breast cancer has been assessed in a series of 240 patients with operable breast cancer over four years. From an analysis of the case histories of 36 patients the diagnosis proved difficult in one-quarter of the cancers. This is explained by the high incidence of subclinical and lobular carcinoma in the group. Cancer must be seriously considered as a diagnosis in patients presenting with well-localised breast pain of recent onset. These patients should be followed for at least one year after the onset of the pain before cancer is confidently excluded.