Relation between Mastalgia and Anxiety in a Region with High Frequency of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

J Breast Health. 2015 Apr 1;11(2):72-75. doi: 10.5152/tjbh.2015.2363. eCollection 2015 Apr.

Abstract

Objective: Mastalgia, the most important breast-related symptom, refers to the pain that arises from breast tissue. Not only hormonal reasons but also psychogenic factors may cause mastalgia. Mastalgia is a subjective complaint and includes emotional components. The present study aimed to investigate the relation between mastalgia and level of anxiety in females.

Materials and methods: This case-control study had consisted of premenopausal females over the age of 20 years. Control group consisted of premenopausal females over the age of 20 years without mastalgia participated. The case and control groups each included 70 females. Females who had a previous breast surgery for any reason, were pregnant or in lactation period, or had a family history of breast cancer were excluded. The case and control groups each examined VAS and GAD-7 questionnaires.

Results: The GAD-7 scale was performed for both the case and control groups to assess the level of anxiety. Test indicated that the level of anxiety was significantly higher in the cases with mastalgia than in the controls. The VAS and GAD-7 scale scores were compared in the case group to assess the relation between degree of pain and level of anxiety. There was no significant relation between these scores, which indicated that pain, contrary to expectations, was not increased as the level of anxiety increased.

Conclusion: Psychological factors such as anxiety, stress, and depression should be kept in mind after eliminating organic reasons via physical and necessary radiological examinations. A psychiatrist should be consulted since mastalgia is a condition that influences quality of life.

Keywords: Mastalgia; anxiety; posttraumatic stress disorder.