Mastalgia is one of the most common breast symptoms. The aim of this study is to describe the
clinical, pathological, ultrasonographic and mammographic features of this common symptom in
Sulaimania, Iraq.
A prospective study done over a period of 1 year, between 1st Sept 2007 and 30th Aug 2008,
during that period, 132 cases of mastalgia were seen in a private general surgical office in
Sulaimania. Data were collected about history, physical examination, ultrasonographic,
mammographic, fine needle aspiration cytology and open surgical biopsy findings.
Mastalgia was divided into cyclical mastalgia and non cyclical mastalgia and their underlying
causes and their response to different lines of treatment were recorded.
Out of 132 patients, 58 patients (43.94%) had cyclical mastalgia, and 74 patients (56.06%) had
noncyclical mastalgia. Their age ranged 17-67 years. Duration of pain was from 7 days - 2
years. Fear of breast cancer was present in 34.09% of the patients. Normal findings were found
in 58.33% of ultrasonographies and negative findings in 78.57 % of mammographies done. In
the majority of patients with mastalgia (58.33%) no cause could be found and the most common
finding was fibrocystic changes (19.69%). The incidence of breast cancer in our patients was
low (0.75%). Most patients with mastalgia (84.69%) improved with reassurance.
Conclusion: Most of the patients with mastalgia were young and middle aged, housewives,
married, multiparous and practiced breast feeding. The incidence of breast cancer was low. In
the majority of them no cause could be found. Most patients improved with reassurance.