Indian Journal of Surgery

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 217–222 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Current Understanding and Management of Mastalgia

  • Kamal Kataria
  • Anita Dhar
  • Anurag SrivastavaEmail author
  • Sandeep Kumar
  • Amit Goyal
Review Article


Breast pain or mastalgia is the common symptom in the breast. The two most common concerns of patients presenting with mastalgia are: the fear that breast pain is a symptom of breast cancer and the presence of severe pain that affects a woman’s quality of life. Breast pain requires thorough assessment and should be investigated in the same manner as any other breast symptom. We conducted a systematic review of treatment for breast pain. We searched various reviews, randomized controlled trial, and observational studies over Pubmed and Medline via internet. Searches were carried out on MEDLINE (1950–present), EMBASE (1980–present), and CINAHL (1981–present) using the NHS Evidence Healthcare Databases Advanced Search interface. A further search was also carried out on Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (issue 12 of 12, Dec 2011) and Central Register of Controlled Trials (issue 4 of 4, Oct 2011). If no abnormality is found in the breast on assessment, then a combination of reassurance, breast support brassiere, and topical NSAID gel massage are usually effective. Antiestrogen (centchroman/tamoxifen) therapy for 3 to 6 months is the second-line treatment of choice. Danazol may be used in resistant cases. Gamma-linolenic acid or evening primrose oil though commonly prescribed is not effective.


Mastalgia Cyclical mastalgia Noncyclical mastalgia Centchroman Danazol Diclofenac gel 


Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Association of Surgeons of India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kamal Kataria
    • 1
  • Anita Dhar
    • 1
  • Anurag Srivastava
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandeep Kumar
    • 2
  • Amit Goyal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgical DisciplinesAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Surgical DisciplinesAll India Institute of Medical SciencesBhopalIndia
  3. 3.Derbyshire Breast UnitDerbyshireUK

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