Menopause And Sore Breast
Menopause is a long and difficult process for women. It usually starts in mid-40s and early 50s. Menopause is the time when your menstrual cycles stop and it is diagnosed after 12 months without a menstrual period. Liv Hospital General Surgery Prof. Dr. Levhi Akin highlighted sore breast and breast cancer subjects. Prof. Dr. Levhi Akin: “Menopause does not directly increase the cancer risk. However, the risk of many cancers increases with age, including the breast cancer. A woman who goes through menopause after the age of 55 has an increased risk of ovarian, breast and uterine cancer. Recent studies showed that women who receive combined hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms are at higher risk in terms of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and embolism. If menstrual cycles of a woman had started before age 12, then the risks are greater”.
Sensitive period for womenApproximately 70% of women experience sore breast during their lives. This pain is described as tenderness, swelling and discomfort or feeling of weight in the breasts. Depending on hormonal changes, pain occurs during menstrual cycle, onset period of puberty and first period of pregnancy. This starts to change as menopause approaches. In menopause, a sensitive period for women, there is loss of tissue and fat in the breasts, the density of the breast tissue decreases, they may start shrinking and there may be palpable lumps. Most of these lumps are not cancerous and defined as benign changes. There are two main types of sore breast during menopause. First one is the periodic sore breast; it starts with the menstrual cycle or one week prior. Second one is the nonperiodic sore breast which is not related with the menstrual cycle and can start any time. It may occur before, during or after menopause. Drugs used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms can also cause breast pain and tenderness due to their synthetic hormone content. Some drugs such as anti-depressants, cholesterol medication used with hormones, heart-related and psychiatric drugs cause increased breast pain.
The risk with hormone use during menopauseSome of the drugs used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms can increase or decrease cancer risk. Longer the estrogen and progestron hormone therapy, greater the breast cancer risk. In addition, it has been determined that women who receive combined hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms are at higher risk
in terms of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and embolism. Due to these risks, such therapies are not recommended or applied at low doses for a short period of time in women with breast cancer history or high breast cancer risk.