Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeCauseDoes Breast Cancer Cause Pain In Your Breast

Does Breast Cancer Cause Pain In Your Breast

Breast Conditions That Arent Cancer

Does Lymphedema Cause Pain?

Breast symptoms including lumps, swelling, and nipple discharge are all possible symptoms of breast cancer, but more often they are symptoms of breast conditions that are benign not cancer. Help keep your breasts healthy by paying attention to how they normally look and feel and let your health care provider know about any changes.

These 5 benign breast conditions often need no treatment, but some do. And some are linked with a higher risk for getting breast cancer later on.

First Stepcheck Your Heart

While your left breast pain is most likely due to something else, the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you could be having symptoms of a heart attack. Keep in mind that the symptoms of heart disease in women are often very different from those in men. Pain may be mild, feel like a burning pain, or may simply feel like breast pain. Due to the often vague and subtle symptoms, women are more likely to overlook the signs, and, as a result, die from a heart attack.

Everyone should be familiar with the symptoms of a heart attack, which may include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Pain in your neck, jaw, or left arm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or passing out
  • A feeling that something just isn’t right or a sense of impending doom

If you’re uncertain about the origin of your pain and have any risk factors for heart disease, it’s better to be on the safe side and seek immediate medical attention.

Breast Changes Of Concern

Some breast changes can be felt by a woman or her health care provider, but most can be detected only during an imaging procedure such as a mammogram, MRI, or ultrasound. Whether a breast change was found by your doctor or you noticed a change, its important to follow up with your doctor to have the change checked and properly diagnosed.

Check with your health care provider if your breast looks or feels different, or if you notice one of these symptoms:

  • Lump or firm feeling in your breast or under your arm. Lumps come in different shapes and sizes. Normal breast tissue can sometimes feel lumpy. Doing breast self-exams can help you learn how your breasts normally feel and make it easier to notice and find any changes, but breast self-exams are not a substitute for mammograms.
  • Nipple changes or discharge. Nipple discharge may be different colors or textures. It can be caused by birth control pills, some medicines, and infections. But because it can also be a sign of cancer, it should always be checked.
  • Skin that is itchy, red, scaled, dimpled or puckered

Don’t Miss: How To Tell If Cancer Has Metastasized

My Surgeon Made Me Scared Jenna Diagnosed At 37

Jenna received a moderately differentiated IDC diagnosis. She was also carrying a genetic mutation and had cancer cells that divided more quickly. Jennas surgeon was actually very blunt about how aggressive her triple positive breast cancer was.

Fortunately, her oncologist was optimistic and gave her the best course of action for treatment. It included six rounds of chemo every three weeks , Herceptin for a year, and a double mastectomy. Jenna is in the process of finishing a five-year treatment of Tamoxifen.

Before Jennas treatment began, she froze her eggs to give her the option of being able to have children. Because of the gene mutation, Jenna also has an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Shes currently discussing with her doctor the option of removing her ovaries.

Jenna has now been cancer-free for over three years.

Fat Necrosis Vs Oil Cysts

Daily Mirror

Oil cysts can also cause a lump in your breast. Oil cysts are benign, or noncancerous, fluid-filled sacs that can appear in your breast. Like other cysts, they will most likely feel smooth, squishy, and flexible. Oil cysts can form for no reason, but they often appear after breast surgery or trauma. As your breast heals from surgery or trauma, breast fat necrosis can melt instead of hardening into scar tissue. The melted fat can collect in one place in your breast and your body will cause a layer of calcium to form around it. This melted fat surrounded by calcium is an oil cyst.

If you have any oil cyst, the lump is probably the only symptom youll notice. These cysts can show up on mammograms, but theyre usually diagnosed with a breast ultrasound.

In many cases, an oil cyst will go away on its own, so your doctor might recommend watchful waiting. If the cyst is painful or is causing you anxiety, a doctor can use needle aspiration to drain the fluid. This usually deflates the cyst.

Also Check: What Is Hr Positive Breast Cancer

Breast Pain Cause By Caffeine

Non-cyclic breast pain may be due to dietary triggers including caffeine, which is found in a variety of beverages and foods and may produce severe breast pain in some women with others experiencing no effect at all. Similar variable breast sensitivity has been associated with hormonal medications, some dietary supplements, and other foods including large amounts of dietary soy. Sometimes it is just not possible to isolate a specific cause, but in each of these situations the breasts are not the source of the problem there is an external factor to which the breasts are sensitive, producing the discomfort.

If it is possible to identify and modify the trigger, the symptoms will be improved. In addition, a well-fitting supportive bra , application of cool or warm compresses for comfort, and use of ibuprofen can be helpful in managing symptoms. It is important to understand that, because this type of breast pain relates to breast tissue sensitivity, it may be uncomfortable but is not harmful.

What Should You Do

There are a number of causes of left-sided breast pain, some more serious than others. The only way to know for sure what’s causing your pain is to seek medical attention.

Whether your left breast pain is due to a minor nuisance condition or a larger problem such as breast cancer or even heart disease, it’s important to get an answer to the question of what is causing your pain. Pain is our body’s way of alerting us to a problem.

If you’ve seen your healthcare provider but still lack an adequate explanation for your pain, call again. You may need to consider getting a second opinion if the pain persists.

Finally, keep in mind that even with an explanation, it’s certainly not unheard of for a person to have more than one process being responsible for pain. For example, you may have a common breast condition such as a breast cyst along with the common condition costochondritis. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to receive a diagnosis of cancer after an evaluation for a seemingly unrelated concern.

Recommended Reading: Breast Cancer Treatment Stage 2

Shoulder Pain Becomes Breast Cancer

I’m posting on here as I need some help/guidance/advice as I feel at a loss.

My mum has had shoulder pain over the last few months which she has been to the doctors about numerous times. They sent her for X Ray’s and said that they couldn’t see what was wrong but suspected arthritis. The pain was getting worse and has now spread under her arm so she went back again. The nurse felt her breast and sent her for a mammogram.

On Thursday, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes. This was the result of a biopsy that she’d had. At the minute we don’t know if it has spread any further or what stage it is. All they have said is that the cells are a grade 3 – which I think means the worst and that they are aggressive?

She’s got to go back on Thursday for some more results related to hormones, but I don’t understand what that means. I’m guessing from this they can start the course of treatment.

However she’s got to wait another 12 days for the CT scan to find out if it has spread.

I’m worried that it has because the pain started in her shoulder – so there is a chance it could be in her bones. Has anyone else ever had that?

I don’t want them to delay the start of the treatment but will that begin after the results of the CT scan which could potentially be a month away or will they start that immediately on Thursday?

What Are The 6 Symptoms Of Breast Lumps And Pain

Breast Pain With Breast Cancer?
  • Breast lump: Although alarming when you find one, most breast lumps are not cancer.
  • Breast pain: Most commonly associated with fibrocystic changes, pain may occur in both breasts, though one may be more painful than the other. With fibrocystic changes, the pain occurs about a week before your menstrual period. The pain usually goes away gradually with the onset of your period.
  • Cyclic breast pain is typically most severe before your period and gets better during your period.
  • It is usually described as bilateral , in the upper outer areas of your breast, and is often associated with lumpiness.
  • Women tend to describe this pain as dull, aching, heavy, or sore, and it can radiate to your armpit or even down your arm.
  • The intensity of pain can vary widely with the range of severity from mild to severe enough to limit clothing selections, sleep positions, or hugging.
  • Noncyclic breast pain is typically unilateral with no relationship to your menstrual cycle.
  • This pain may be constant or on and off and irregular. It is described as a sharp, stabbing, burning pain that appears to be right below the area around your nipple.
  • If it is localized and persistent, it may be due to the presence of a fibroadenoma or cyst. But other more serious causes must be ruled out.
  • Mastitis: Such breast infections may cause pain, redness, and warmth of the breast along with these symptoms:
  • Tenderness and swelling
  • Fever and chills
  • Pus draining from the nipple
  • Recommended Reading: De Novo Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

    Symptoms Of Angiosarcoma Of The Breast

    Another rare form of breast cancer, angiosarcoma forms inside the lymph and blood vessels. Only a biopsy may definitively diagnose this type of cancer. Angiosarcoma can cause changes to the skin of your breast, such as the development of purple-colored nodules that resemble a bruise. These nodules, if bumped or scratched, may bleed. Over time, these discolored areas may expand, making your skin appear swollen in that area. You may or may not have breast lumps with angiosarcoma. If you also have lymphedema, which is swelling caused by a buildup of lymphatic fluid, angiosarcoma may occur in the affected arm. Cancer treatment sometimes damages the lymph vessels, which may lead to lymphedema.

    Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

    The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women.

    The most common signs are:

    • A change in the look or feel of the breast OR
    • A change in the look or feel of the nipple OR
    • Nipple discharge

    If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider .

    If you dont have a provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.

    If thats not an option, call your health department, a clinic or a nearby hospital. If you have insurance, your insurance company may also have a list of providers in your area.

    Learn more about finding a health care provider.

    In most cases, these changes are not cancer.

    One example is breast pain. Pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer, but the only way to know for sure is to get it checked.

    If the change turns out to be breast cancer, its best to find it at an early stage, when the chances of survival are highest.

    Recommended Reading: Is Breast Cancer Curable In The 3 Stage

    Armpit Pain And Breast Cancer

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

    Other Symptoms To Look For:


    Inverted nipples, though this doesnt always mean BC, especially if theyve been inverting since as long as you can remember.

    Discharge from the nipple other than milk.

    Puckering in the skin.

    A feeling of new-onset hardness or thickening in the skin during a self-exam.

    Sudden but brief shooting, stabbing, piercing or sharp pain in the breast is very unlikely to be caused by cancer.

    The Cancer Treatment Centers of America main site lists additional symptoms to be concerned about, which can suggest inflammatory BC:

    Increasing size or shape of one breast infection Itchiness Warmth Peeling or flaking nipple

    Dr. Johnson performs lumpectomies, and skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomies, breast ultrasounds, needle core biopsies, infusaport placements, genetic testing and counseling, plus works with radiation oncologists to treat breast cancer using intraoperative radiation therapy.
    Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.

    You May Like: Chances Of Getting Breast Cancer Twice

    Coping With Chest Wall Pain

    Any type of breast pain can be very distressing, and many women worry they may have breast cancer. However, in most cases pain in the breast isnt a sign of breast cancer.

    Having breast pain doesnt increase your risk of breast cancer. However, its still important to be breast aware and go back to your GP if the pain increases or changes, or you notice any other changes in your breasts.

    What Causes Breast Infections

    The cause of most breast infections is Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes what is commonly known as a staph infection. Streptococcus agalactiae is the second most common cause.

    For breastfeeding mothers, a plugged milk duct can cause milk to back up and an infection to begin. Cracked nipples also increase the risk of breast infection. Bacteria from the babys mouth can enter and cause an infection. The bacteria that typically cause infection are also normally found on the skin, even when no infection is taking place. If the bacteria get into the breast tissue, they can multiply quickly and cause painful symptoms.

    You can continue to breastfeed even when you have a mastitis infection because the bacteria are not harmful to your baby. This condition usually occurs in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but it can occur later.

    Non-lactational mastitis occurs in women with weakened immune systems, including women who have had lumpectomies with radiation therapy and women with diabetes. Some infection-like symptoms are a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, but this is very rare. Learn more about mastitis.

    Subareolar abscesses occur when the glands under the nipple become blocked and an infection develops under the skin. This can form a hard, pus-filled lump that may need to be drained. This type of abscess normally only occurs in non-lactating women, and there are no known risk factors for it.

    Symptoms of a breast infection can start suddenly and may include:

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer

    Does Breast Pain Indicate Breast Cancer

    While breast pain can indicate breast cancer, it is not a common symptom of breast cancer. However, pain with other symptoms like nipple discharge, lumps, thickening of the skin, change in size or shape, or changes in texture or appearance of the skin should be evaluated by your primary care physician as they could indicate cancer or other, benign problems.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, including breast pain, contact your primary care physician.

    Of course, breast cancer doesnt always show symptoms. Its possible for a woman to have breast cancer without even knowing it. Thats why screening is so important in preventing breast cancer. The Breast Center recommends annual screening mammograms starting at age 40.

    Myth : Women With Lumpy Breast Tissue Have Dense Breasts

    What Should I Do If My Pain Persists After Breast Cancer Surgery?

    False. Lumpy breast tissue has nothing to do with breast density, Dr. Pederson says. Your breasts can feel lumpy but not appear dense on a mammogram.

    Nearly one in two women have dense breast tissue, indicated by the amount of milk glands and ducts and supportive tissue, which appear solid white on a mammogram. Because cancer can appear the same way, women with dense breasts may choose to have 3D mammography for better cancer detection and fewer false positives. Women at high risk may qualify for MRI screening.

    Also Check: Do You Gain Weight With Breast Cancer

    Breast Cancer Rib Pain

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

    HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

    A Lump In Your Breast

    A lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Lumps are often hard and painless, although some are painful. However, not all lumps are cancer. Benign breast conditions that can also cause lumps.

    Still, its important to have your doctor check out any new lump or mass right away. If it does turn out to be cancer, the sooner its diagnosed the better.

    You May Like: Did Anne Hathaway Have Breast Cancer

    Nipple Retraction Or Inversion

    Breast cancer can cause cell changes behind the nipple. These changes can result in the nipple inverting and reversing inward into the breast, or it may look different in terms of its size.

    The appearance of the nipples can often alter during ovulation or other parts of the menstrual cycle, but people should see a doctor about any new nipple changes.


    Popular Articles