Possible Causes Of Breast Pain:
Hormonal: Cyclic breast pain is connected to your menstrual cycle. This happens when breast tissue responds to hormonal changes within the body.
Breast cysts: Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs inside the breast.
Breast fibroadenomas: Harmless lumps of glandular and fibrous tissue, usually feel firm and rubbery and have a smooth texture. They are common in young women aged 20 to 40 and the causes of fibroadenoma are unknown. They can become tender before periods. As with any unusual changes to the breast it is best to be checked by a doctor.
Breast size: Breast pain could be due to the heaviness of the breasts, also may be accompanied by neck, shoulder and back pain.
Medication: Some hormonal medication, such as the contraceptive pill or certain antidepressants, may affect breast pain. Sore breasts may also be a side effect of estrogen and progesterone hormone therapies.
Breast Structure: The pain may result from changes in the milk duct or glands, or from trauma such as surgery, leading to breast tenderness. Scar tissue from breast surgery can also be painful even after the incisions appear to have healed.
Fatty acid imbalance: An imbalance of these acids within the cells will cause the breast to feel sensitive.
Physical activity: Straining the area around the breast through physical activity, like heavy lifting, may cause breast soreness.
The Breast Or Nipple Looks Or Feels Different
One of the signs of breast cancer is that your breast or nipple will look or feel different. You may notice nipple tenderness or a lump forming. Sometimes, you might notice a skin texture change which indicates an enlargement of the skin pores on the breast that may feel like the texture of an orange or grapefruit. A lump in the breast is also indicative of breast cancer, which you can find out easily by conducting a breast self-exam.
Previous Breast Cancer Or Lump
You have a higher risk of developing breast cancer again if you’ve previously had breast cancer. The risk is also higher if you’ve had early non-invasive cancer cell changes in breast ducts. This could have been either in your other breast or in the same breast.
A benign breast lump doesn’t mean you have breast cancer.
Certain changes in your breast tissue, such as cells growing abnormally in ducts , or abnormal cells inside your breast lobules , can make getting breast cancer more likely.
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What Does A Fibroadenoma Feel Like
Some fibroadenomas are so small they cant be felt. When youre able to feel one, its very distinct from the surrounding tissue. The edges are clearly defined and the tumors have a detectable shape.
Theyre moveable under the skin and typically not tender. These tumors often feel like marbles, but may have a rubbery feel to them.
Are You Having Breast Cancer Pain
How often does breast cancer cause breast pain? If you have breast pain, what are the chances it’s cancer? What types of breast cancers are more likely to be painful? Since breast pain affects roughly half of all women at some point in our lives, these are important questions to be asking.
Learn about about how often breast cancer is painful , and whether pain may increase your risk of breast cancer in the future.
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Breast Changes And Conditions
As you await follow-up test results, remember that most breast changes are not cancer.
You may have just received an abnormal mammogram result, or perhaps you or your health care provider found a breast lump or other breast change. Keep in mind that breast changes are very common, and most are not cancer. This page can help you learn about symptoms during your lifetime that are not cancer as well as follow-up tests used to diagnose breast conditions and treatments for specific breast conditions.
Why Might These Symptoms Seem To Come And Go
IBC is a fast-growing, aggressive form of breast cancer. Unlike other types of breast cancer, symptoms of this condition are primarily caused by inflammation, which leads to swelling, pain, redness, and other symptoms.
When the symptoms of IBC appear, they may come and go in the beginning. In fact, some of the symptoms mentioned above can appear suddenly and may be mistaken for another condition with similar symptoms, such as an infection or rash.
However, unlike other conditions that resolve over time with treatment, the symptoms of IBC become worse over a period of weeks or months. Although they may vary in intensity, once the cancer has begun to spread, it will continue to cause pain, swelling, and other symptoms in the affected breast.
Unfortunately, inflammatory breast cancer symptoms will not resolve on their own without treatment or intervention, so its important to see a doctor immediately if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above.
There are a handful of other conditions can share symptoms with inflammatory breast cancer, including the following:
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Tips On How To Relieve Breast Pain
According to the Cancer Council, there are various ways you can manage breast pain. These include:
- Ensuring you have a supportive and well-fitting bra, and an appropriate sports bra
- Wearing a soft, support bra for bed
- Speak to your doctor about applying non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or other form of pain relief such as paracetamol
- Cutting down your caffeine intake
- Having a hot shower or bath or soothing the pain with a heat pack. Alternatively, some women may find an ice pack more suitable.
If the pain persists or continues to worsen, consult with your GP.
Other Causes Of Pain And Tenderness
We often associate pain with something wrong, so when people feel tenderness or pain in their breast, they often think of breast cancer. But breast pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer. Several other factors can cause the pain.
Clinically known as mastalgia, breast pain can also be caused by the following:
- the fluctuation of hormones caused by menstruation
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What Should You Know About Breast Cancerpain
Breast cancer usually does not cause pain, but it can. A tumor in the breast can create pain by pushing up against other breast tissue.
Breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is known as metastatic breast cancer. It is also called advanced breast cancer or Stage IV breast cancer. This form may trigger pain in the areas to which it has spread, such as bones, brain, lungs, or liver. An estimated 70 to 90 percent of people with metastatic cancer have chronic pain.
While some cancer pain is related to the disease, you might also find that some pain is related to treatment. Breast cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy. For many people being treated for breast cancer, pain from therapy is temporary. However, some degree of pain can be lasting and affect your ability to function and your quality of life.
There are different types of pain, including:
- Breakthrough pain
Ovarian Ablation Or Suppression
In women who haven’t experienced the menopause, oestrogen is produced by the ovaries. Ovarian ablation or suppression stops the ovaries working and producing oestrogen.
Ablation can be carried out using surgery or radiotherapy. It stops the ovaries working permanently and means you’ll experience the menopause early.
Ovarian suppression involves using a medication called goserelin, which is a luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist . Your periods will stop while you’re taking it, although they should start again once your treatment is complete.
If you’re approaching the menopause , your periods may not start again after you stop taking goserelin.
Goserelin is taken as an injection once a month and can cause menopausal side effects, including:
- hot flushes and sweats
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Statistics On Breast Cancer & Pain
A breast tumora hard clump of breast cancer cellsusually doesn’t usually cause breast pain unless it reaches the size of two centimeters in diameter or greater. But a tumor can be larger than two centimeters and still not cause pain.
In fact,only about 5% to 15% of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer complain of breast pain. Only 7% of those diagnosed with breast cancer seek a doctor because of breast pain, excluding other symptoms.
How Can You Handle Your Feelings About Having Breast Cancer Again
It’s common to have a wide range of emotions. It may be hard to stay hopeful when you are fighting cancer for the second or third time. These ideas may help:
- Get the support you need. Spend time with people who care about you, and let them help you.
- Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, and eat nourishing foods.
- Talk about your feelings. Find a support group where you can share your experience.
- Stay positive. Do things each day that will help you stay calm and relaxed.
If your emotions are too much to handle, be sure to tell your doctor. You may be able to get counseling or other types of help.
You may want to think about planning for the future. A living will lets doctors know what type of life-support measures you want if your health gets much worse. You can also choose a health care agent to make decisions in case you aren’t able to. If you put your wishes in writing, you can make it easier for your loved ones and others to know what you want.
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Tests To Determine Specific Types Of Treatment
You’ll also need tests that show whether the cancer will respond to specific types of treatment. The results of these tests can give your doctors a more complete picture of the type of cancer you have and how best to treat it. The types of test you could be offered are discussed below.
In some cases, breast cancer cells can be stimulated to grow by hormones that occur naturally in your body, such as oestrogen and progesterone.
If this is the case, the cancer may be treated by stopping the effects of the hormones, or by lowering the level of these hormones in your body. This is known as “hormone therapy”.
During a hormone receptor test, a sample of cancer cells will be taken from your breast and tested to see if they respond to either oestrogen or progesterone. If the hormone is able to attach to the cancer cells , they’re known as “hormone receptor positive”.
While hormones can encourage the growth of some types of breast cancer, other types are stimulated by a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 .
These types of cancer can be diagnosed using a HER2 test, and treated with medication to block the effects of HER2. This is known as “biological” or “targeted” therapy.
Breast Pain Linked To Periods
Many women feel discomfort and lumpiness in both breasts a week or so before their period.
The pain can vary from mild to severe and the breasts can also be tender and sore to touch.
You may experience heaviness, tenderness, a burning, prickling or stabbing pain, or a feeling of tightness.
The pain usually affects both breasts but it can affect just one breast. It can also spread to the armpit, down the arm and to the shoulder blade.
Cyclical breast pain is linked to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. The pain often goes away once a period starts. In some women, this type of pain will go away by itself, but it can come back.
This type of pain usually stops after the menopause, though women taking hormone replacement therapy can also have breast pain.
Breast pain can also be associated with starting to take or changing contraception that contains hormones.
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You’re Getting Your Period
Two-thirds of breast pain is caused by the predictable surges of estrogen and progesterone around your monthly period.
Hormonal breast pain can happen to any woman that is menstruating, Dr. Swain says. It doesnt matter if theyre 14 or 44, as long as theyre still menstruating they have the risk of having cyclic breast pain.
Youll usually feel period-related boob pain in both breasts at once and all over your breasts. Most people describe the pain as achy rather than sharp.
For some women, its enough just to know that the pain will go away, usually in a week to 10 days. Other women seek relief from over-the-counter pain medications. There is one FDA-approved prescription drug for breast pain, called danazol, but it can have serious side effects.
Tweaking your diet may limit menstrual breast pain as well: Eating more flaxseed might help, as can sticking to a low-fat diet thats rich in complex carbs, says Dr. Swain.
Relationships With Friends And Family
It’s not always easy to talk about cancer, either for you or your family and friends. You may sense that some people feel awkward around you or avoid you.
Being open about how you feel and what your family and friends can do to help may put them at ease. However, don’t be afraid to tell them that you need some time to yourself, if that’s what you need.
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Tests At The Breast Cancer Clinic
If you have suspected breast cancer you’ll be referred to a specialist breast cancer clinic for further tests. This referral will be because of your symptoms or because your mammogram has shown an abnormality,
Mammogram and breast ultrasound
If you have symptoms and have been referred to a specialist breast unit by your GP, you’ll probably be invited to have a mammogram if you are over 35 years old. This is an X-ray of your breasts. You may also need an ultrasound scan.
If your cancer was detected through the BreastCheck screening programme, you may need another mammogram or ultrasound scan.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of the inside of your breasts. It helps to determine the nature of a lump or of the abnormality. It may be needed to find out if a lump in your breast is solid or contains liquid.
Your breasts are made up of thousands of tiny glands that produce milk. This glandular tissue contains a higher concentration of breast cells than other breast tissue, making it denser.
Dense breast tissue can make a mammogram difficult to read. Lumps or areas of abnormal tissue are harder to spot.
Younger women tend to have denser breasts. This is why mammography is not routinely performed in women under 35 years. As you get older, the amount of glandular tissue in your breasts decreases and is replaced by fat. This means your breasts become less dense.
Pain In The Ribs Anyone Had It
Hi,I haven’t posted for a while as had a relatively “paranoia free” few months. I was DX in Dec 2007, finished treatment 11 months ago and not on anything now as it was triple negative.
Since about a week ago I have noticed that my ribs on one side are quite sore when I touch them. Its both back and front and there does seem to be one small central area which is the worst bit.
Needless to say I am now paranoid about bone mets and I’m just wondering if anyone else had this? If it persists or gets worse I will get it checked out, but I havent passed the 2 week mark yet so I’m hoping it will disappear next week!
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Hormones And Hormone Medicine
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, the risk is a very low one.
Women who use the contraceptive pill have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk starts to decrease once you stop taking the pill. Your risk of breast cancer is back to normal 10 years after stopping.
Signs Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Despite initial treatment and success, breast cancer can sometimes come back. This is called recurrence. Recurrence happens when a small number of cells escape the initial treatment.
Symptoms of a recurrence in the same place as the first breast cancer are very similar to symptoms of the first breast cancer. They include:
- a new breast lump
- redness or swelling of the breast
- a new thickening near the mastectomy scar
If breast cancer comes back regionally, it means that the cancer has returned to the lymph nodes or near to the original cancer but not exactly the same place. The symptoms may be slightly different.
Symptoms of a regional recurrence may include:
- lumps in your lymph nodes or near the collarbone
- chest pain
- pain or loss of sensation in your arm or shoulder
- swelling in your arm on the same side as the original breast cancer
If youve had a mastectomy or other surgery related to breast cancer, you might get lumps or bumps caused by scar tissue in the reconstructed breast. This isnt cancer, but you should let your doctor know about them so they can be monitored.
As with any cancer, early detection and treatment are major factors in determining the outcome. Breast cancer is easily treated and usually curable when detected in the earliest of stages.
The best way to fight breast cancer is early detection. Talk with your doctor about when you should start scheduling regular mammograms.
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What Are Metastatic And Recurrent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow out of control in one or both breasts.
- Metastatic breast cancer means that cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
- Recurrent breast cancer means that cancer has come back in or near the original site or in another part of the body.
For most women who have had breast cancer, their greatest fear is that the cancer will come back or spread. Finding out that this has happened can turn your world upside down. But there is hope. Some recurrent breast cancers can be successfully treated. Other recurrent breast cancers and metastatic breast cancer usually can’t be cured. But with treatment, some women live for many years.