Breast pain is one of the most common symptom.
Known as Mastalgia.
Fortunately, breast pain is rarely due to breast cancer.
Mainly of two types.
- Cyclical Breast Pain
- Related to the menstrual cycle hormones
- Usually in both breasts,
- severe in the upper and outer aspects of the breast.
- Minor cyclical breast discomfort is very normal.
- Non- Cyclical Breast Pain
Mainly we see this kind of pain in
- Large breasts: pull on the ligaments of the breast,
- Smoking: Smoking might increase breast pain by increasing epinephrine levels in the breast
- Medication: postmenopausal hormone therapy may cause noncyclical breast pain. This tends to resolve over time.
- Chest wall pain: This is most commonly from irritation of the pectoralis major muscle.
- Pregnancy: It is important to consider pregnancy as a common cause of breast pain. Half of the pregnancies are accidental or unintended.
How is breast pain evaluated?
Tests to evaluate your condition may include:
Examination. To check for-
- Changes in your breasts for lumps, thickening
- The lymph nodes in your lower neck and underarm.
Mammogram. Is Indicated
- If there is a breast lump or unusual thickening
- A focused area of pain in your breast tissue,
Ultrasound. need an ultrasound to evaluate a focused area of pain even if the mammogram appears normal.
Breast biopsy. Is indicated in
- Suspicious breast lumps, areas of thickening or
- Unusual areas seen during imaging exams may require a biopsy before your doctor can make a diagnosis.
How is Breast Pain Treated?
For many women, If you do require treatment, your doctor might recommend that you:
- Breast pain resolves on its own over time. No treatment may be required.
- Apply local heat to the painful area.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Eliminate an aggravating factor. Such as wearing a bra with extra support.
- Use a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication.In case of severe pain.
- Adjust birth control pills. skipping the pill-free week or switching birth control methods may help breast pain symptoms.
- Evening primrose oil. it does help some women
Danazol is used commonly.
Potentially severe side effects, such as acne, weight gain and voice changes, which limit its use.
Even though there is little research to show the effectiveness of these self-care remedies, some may be worth a try:
- Use hot or cold compresses on your breasts.
- Wear a firm support bra, fitted by a professional if possible.
- Wear a sports bra during exercise, especially when your breasts may be more sensitive.
- Experiment with relaxation therapy
- Limit or eliminate caffeine.
- Follow a low-fat diet and eat more complex carbohydrates, a strategy that’s helped some women with breast pain in observational studies.
- Vitamin E For adults older than 18 years, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women, the maximum dose of vitamin E is 1,000 milligrams daily (or 1,500 IU).
When Do I Have To See A Doctor?
- If you have breast pain that is new,
- Pain that affects just a particular part of your breast or
- Pain that affects your quality of life, see your doctor for an evaluation.