Why Do My Breasts Hurt
Breast pain is very common in women of all ages.
Having painful, sore or tender breasts can cause a lot of anxiety. But on its own, pain in the breasts isn’t usually a sign of breast cancer.
Many women experience breast pain as part of their normal menstrual cycle . This is called cyclical breast pain.
Lasting pain in the breast thats not related to periods is known as non-cyclical breast pain.
Sometimes pain that feels as though it’s in the breast is coming from somewhere else, such as a pulled muscle in the chest. This is known as chest wall pain.
Nipple Discharge Or Changes
One of the most common locations of breast cancer is beneath the nipple. The presence of a cancerous lesion may cause changes in appearance and sensitivity of the nipple. Different texture, color and shape might occur. The nipple may also feel much more tender and have an unusual texture. Some women describe a lack of sensitivity within the nipple, especially during intimate relations.
The American Cancer Society mentions nipple pain, nipple retraction and redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple as possible signs of breast cancer.1 WebMD also mentions itching, a burning sensation, or ulceration in the nipple.3
A discharge of clear liquid, blood, or milk that doesnt happen during breast feeding might also be a sign of breast cancer. According to WebMD, unusual discharge from the nipple is usually caused by benign conditions, but may also indicate breast cancer in some cases, in which the discharge can be clear, bloody, or another color.3
This happens when a tumor forms in the milk duct on the nipple or behind it. When this happens the skin jostles to one side, allowing the tumor to cause irritation and inflammation that results in an unusual discharge from the nipple. Medical evaluation and followups are needed for early detection, but it is important to remember that many tumors are harmless.
What Are The Treatments For Noncyclic Breast Pain
Its more difficult to figure out the best treatment for noncyclic breast pain. Thats because its hard to know exactly where the pain is coming from. In addition, the pain is not hormonal. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam and may order a mammogram. In some cases, a biopsy of the area is also needed. If it is found that the pain is caused by a cyst, then the cyst will be aspirated. This means that a small needle will be used to remove the liquid contents of the cyst. Depending on where the pain starts, treatment may include pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medicines, and compresses.
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Is A Burning Sensation In The Breast A Sign Of Cancer
According to the information of Breast Cancer Foundation, burning sensation in your breast is not always a sign of cancer. You can also develop breast pain or tenderness due to other causes that are already been discussed in the relevant section of this post. Some of these causes include mastitis, mammary duct ectasia, breast cellulitis, and neuropathy.
However, cancer of the breast has a symptom of burning sensation in the breast that is associated with other strange symptoms that include a hard lump in breast, redness, tenderness, flattening or dimpling of the nipple.
If your breast develops a feeling of burning sensation, you should not worry but instead visit your doctor to help in diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear when the tumour grows large enough to be felt as a lump in the breast or when the cancer spreads to surrounding tissues and organs. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as breast cancer.
The most common symptom of ductal carcinoma is a firm or hard lump that feels very different from the rest of the breast. It may feel like it is attached to the skin or the surrounding breast tissue. The lump doesnt get smaller or come and go with your period. It may be tender, but its usually not painful. .
Lobular carcinoma often does not form a lump. It feels more like the tissue in the breast is getting thicker or harder.
Other symptoms of ductal and lobular breast cancer include:
- a lump in the armpit
- changes in the shape or size of the breast
- changes to the nipple, such as a nipple that suddenly starts to point inward
- discharge that comes out of the nipple without squeezing it or that has blood in it
Late signs and symptoms occur as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs. Late symptoms of breast cancer include:
- bone pain
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This Woman Had Burning Breast Pain But 4 Doctors Told Her Breast Cancer Doesnt Hurt
The burning pain in Sarah Dickinsons right breast started when she was pregnant, and doctors explained it as a side effect of her developing milk ducts. But an ultrasound after she gave birth showed something more serious.
This article is part of Healths series, Misdiagnosed, featuring stories from real women who have had their medical symptoms dismissed or wrongly diagnosed.
Sarah Dickinson was just two weeks pregnant when she started to develop a burning feeling that affected her entire right breast. At first, she assumed it was a weird symptom of pregnancy, but the pain persisted.
It was on and off, mainly in the evenings, Dickinson, 37, tells Health. It would take my breath awaythe intensity of the burning sensation would just knock the wind out of me. The first-time mom found that applying heat to her breast helped, and she chalked up her symptoms as just hormonal.
But the burning sensation continued. Dickinson brought it up when she went to her ob-gyns officeand she went often. Because she was 35 at the time, hers was considered a high risk pregnancy, and that meant having doctor appointments every month. I saw four different providers and told each one about the burning, she says. Every time, they did a manual breast exam, and then concluded that the burning sensation was the result of her milk ducts coming in to prepare for breastfeeding.
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Causes Of Breast Pain
Breast pain may be felt as heaviness or soreness, or a stabbing or burning sensation. It can be felt in any part of the breast and may spread to nearby areas too.
Many women worry that breast pain may be a sign of a serious condition such as breast cancer. However, pain by itself is rarely a sign of cancer.
Causes of breast pain include:
- period-related hormone changes
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When To See Your Healthcare Provider
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you have breast pain from any cause. Even if it’s not due to cancer, many women find that breast pain decreases their quality of life. In one study, 15% of women experienced breast pain at some time in their life that interfered with work and family activities. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any unusual discomfort.
Are More Advanced Stages Of Breast Cancer More Painful
Stage 4 breast cancer is advanced, which means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The spread can be painful if the additional tumors press on surrounding tissues or nerves. Breast cancer most commonly metastasizes to:
Bone: This is the most common location of breast cancer mets, and they can cause a persistent, nagging pain in the bone. About 3 out of every 4 people with bone metastasis will have pain associated with it.
Brain: About half of people who have brain metastases have headaches.
Lung: Metastases in a lung rarely cause pain, though some people can feel them when they take a deep breath.
Liver: Liver tumors are also less likely to cause any pain. Sometimes these tumors lead to a build-up of fluid in the abdomen , which can make someone feel uncomfortable and bloated.
Sometimes, surgery or radiation therapy can be helpful if a metastatic tumor is causing pain. These treatments can either remove or shrink the tumor for treatment. But well discuss other options for pain relief below.
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Facts You Should Know About Breast Lumps In Women
- Breast lumps can be caused by infections, injuries, non-cancerous growths, and cancer.
- Breast cancer usually causes no pain in the breast. The symptoms of breast cancer include painless breast lumps, nipple discharge, and inflammation of the skin of the breast.
- The chances that a particular breast lump could be cancerous depends on many factors, including past medical history, physical examination, as well as genetic and other risk factors.
- The only way to be certain that a lump is not cancerous is to have a tissue sampling . There are several ways to do the biopsy. The treatment of a breast lump depends on its cause.
Coping With Breast Pain
Breast pain can be very distressing, and many women worry that they may have breast cancer. In most cases breast pain will be the result of normal changes in the breasts.
Even though you may feel reassured that your breast pain is normal and you dont have breast cancer, the pain often remains. This can be upsetting, especially if your specialist cant tell you the exact cause of your breast pain.
Women affected by breast pain may feel many different emotions, including fear, frustration or helplessness. Although understanding more about your breast pain wont cure it, it may help you to get back some control over your life.
Having severe, long-lasting breast pain can sometimes affect a womans daily activities which may cause anxiety and, for some, depression. However, this isnt the case for most women and their pain can be helped or managed.
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.
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Medication To Get Rid Of Burning Sensation In Breast:
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What Are The Different Types Of Cancer Pain
There are different types of pain associated with cancer. The type of pain you experience can vary depending on the type of cancer you have and the specific way it affects your body. Bone pain is the most common type of discomfort associated with cancer. This happens when a tumor either grows into the bones or starts pressing against them. This is a deep, aching pain and is usually chronic.
Burning pain is also common for those with cancer. In some cases the tumor may be pressing on a nerve, causing a constant burning pain. Other times nerve damage due to surgery or chemotherapy causes this pain. If you had an area of your body removed due to cancer, such as a mastectomy for those with breast cancer, you may experience phantom pain. Phantom pain happens when nerve endings still send pain signals, even though the body part is gone.
Its important to be able to articulate the type of pain that youre feeling to your doctor in order to get the best treatment available. Here are some important terms to know:
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How Does Breast Cancer Cause Pain
Pain is not a common symptom for people diagnosed with breast cancer. But there are some exceptions to this, which may include:
Large tumors that put pressure on surrounding tissue
Tumors that are near the skin surface
Rare types of breast cancers that cause inflammation surrounding the tumor
If you’re not having pain at the time breast cancer is diagnosed, you probably won’t end up having pain from the cancer itself as you progress through treatment.
What Are The Treatments For Cyclical Breast Pain
Treatment for cyclical breast pain will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatments vary greatly and may include the following:
Not having caffeine
Tamoxifen, an estrogen blocker
Supplemental hormones and hormone blockers may have side effects. In addition, the risks and benefits of such treatment should be carefully discussed with your healthcare provider.
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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
Armpit Pain And Breast Cancer
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How Does Breast Cancer Treatment Cause Pain
While breast cancer itself does not often cause pain, some of its treatments can cause discomfort. The good news is that any pain associated with treatment is often temporary and short-lived:
Surgery: This treatment can lead to postoperative pain at the site of the tumor . But the pain resolves as the incision heals.
Radiation therapy: This treatment can cause mild pain in the skin and breast where the radiation is given. However, the pain usually goes away a few weeks after the treatment is completed.
Chemotherapy: After this treatment, theres more likely to be nausea and vomiting than pain. But some side effects are painful. Examples include sores in the mouth, skin rashes, or damage to nerves .
Hormone therapy: Headaches, muscle aches, or bone and joint pain can be caused by hormone therapy. But, like chemotherapy, these symptoms dont happen to everyone who receives this treatment.
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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Itchy Breast Redness And Pain
The American Cancer Society mentions that while the most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump, other possible symptoms include skin irritation and dimpling, as well as redness, scaliness or thickening of the breast skin.1
Its common for breasts to be sore and sensitive during menstruation, but this symptom could mean something more serious if you have sore breasts sensitivity that persists after that period. There may also be swelling involved with skin that is warm to the touch, indicating the less common forms of inflammatory breast cancer.
It is worth noting that it is rare that breast pain or sore breasts after period is a sign of cancer. Doctors from Harvard Medical School say that sore tender breasts are usually not connected with breast cancer.
Cancer Research UK says that itchy breasts can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, however this is very rare. With this type of cancer, the area of skin over the tumor can become red, inflamed, painful and itchy.2
Inflammatory cancer may also cause swelling and pain in the chest. The skin may look scaly or have small blue marks similar to hemorrhages, somewhat like cellulite holes on the breast.
Doctors on WebMD say that a reddish, pitted surface like the skin of an orange could be a sign of advanced breast cancer. They also mention a marble-like area under the skin or indentation on the breast, which may indicate a tumor that cannot be seen or felt.3