Health & Spirit

It's time for a more thorough examination of nipple pain

By Keith Roach, M.D. on

ANSWER: Benign fatty tumors are called "lipomas," and it is not unusual for people to have more than one. They seldom require treatment. I refer patients to a surgeon for removal if the tumor is cosmetically important, causes pain or restricts movement. I also get concerned if the lipoma rapidly changes in size, since a very few of these benign tumors can turn into malignant tumors. The treatment is surgical removal of the entire tumor. Recent reports suggest that liposuction provides excellent results with very little risk for recurrence.

Lipomas do seem to run in families, and there is a rare condition called "familial multiple lipomatosis."

DEAR DR. ROACH: I take tamoxifen for a history of breast cancer. Are there any vitamins or supplements I shouldn't take? I am taking magnesium, vitamin D, biotin, a probiotic, lysine and glucosamine/chondroitin. -- J.Z.

ANSWER: Tamoxifen blocks some of the effects of estrogen and stimulates others. Because of that, I would avoid supplements with estrogen effects, such as red clover. Some prescription medications affect metabolism of tamoxifen, but I put all of your supplements into a professional program and came up with no worrisome interactions. Your pharmacist is an excellent resource for this, so it's wise to keep him or her up to date about any over-the-counter supplements.


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Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from

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