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Breast Pain Differential: Mondor's Disease of the Breast.

Breast pain is a common concern among women in primary care clinics. A rare cause of breast pain is Mondor's disease (MD), which can present as an acute, painful, erythematous, cord-like induration on the breast or anterior chest wall. The disorder is caused by sclerosing superficial thrombophlebitis of the anterolateral thoracoabdominal wall veins. There does not appear to be a racial or ethnic propensity for this condition; however, it is important to understand that it may be more difficult to see in darker skin types (Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI) and requires close attention on physical exam. The cause of MD is poorly understood but may be related to direct trauma, strenuous exercise, or hormone changes. We review a case of a 54-year-old woman who presented with an anterior chest wall palpable cord, better visualized with adequate lighting and skin traction, ultimately diagnosed as MD based on clinical findings and imaging studies. Mondor's disease often resolves spontaneously with supportive care, as in this patient's case; however, clinicians should be aware of this rare cause of breast pain and its association with hypercoagulable state, vasculitis, and breast cancer.

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