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Stats: 17,481 members, 69,447 Topics, 15,458 Comments. Date: Jun 20 2019, 8:49 am

Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
200Level, Nigeria.

The following are ten common causes of breast pain.

1. Breast cysts

Some women have a higher risk of developing painful breast conditions than others. At times, milk duct or gland changes may result in the formation of breast cysts.

Breast cysts can feel like a lump in the breast. They are fluid-filled sacs that can be soft or firm.

They may or may not cause pain. These cysts typically enlarge during the menstrual cycle and go away once menopause is reached.

Most breast cysts consist of fluid rather than cells. A cyst is different from a tumor, and it is not cancerous.

2. Medications
Certain medications can contribute to the development of breast pain.

Medications that are linked to an increase in breast pain include:

drugs that affect the reproductive hormones
some treatments for mental health conditions
some cardiovascular treatments
Examples of these types of drugs are:

oral hormonal contraceptives
postmenopausal estrogen and progesterone preparations
antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
antipsychotic, such as Haloperidol
digitalis preparations, for example, digoxin
Methyldopa (Aldomet)
Spironolactone (Aldactone)
Others that can have this effect include:

some diuretics
anadrol, a steroid
infertility treatments
People with breast pain should speak to their healthcare provider to see if any of their medications are having an effect.

3. Breast surgery
Undergoing breast surgery and the formation of scar tissue can lead to breast pain.

The severity and type of pain vary between individuals and ranges from no pain to severe pain. It can result from nerve damage or inflammation. Pain may affect the surface of the breast, or it may be deep.

The amount and type of pain may change over time.

Soon after surgery, pain may be severe.

Long-term effects may include:

increased sensitivity
pain on touching the area
reduced sensitivity and possible numbness
inability to raise the arm over the head
difficulty driving, doing handicrafts, and other regular activities
Some of these may last 6 months or longer.

One study that followed up women who had undergone breast surgery over 6 months found that overall, mild pain tends to persist over time, moderate pain may increase, and severe pain will likely decrease.

4. Costochondritis
Costochondritis, or costosternal syndrome, is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs and breastbone.

It can occur with arthritis. Arthritis in the neck or upper back can also lead to pain or numbness in the chest. It can also occur with an injury or physical strain.

Sometimes, there may be swelling.

It is not related to the breast, but it causes a burning pain that can be confused with breast pain.

This condition most often affects women and people over 40 years of age.

5. Fibrocystic breast changes
Salt shaker on blue wooden table
Limiting salt consumption may help reduce fibrocystic breast pain.
Fibrocystic breast changes can cause one or both breasts to become lumpy, tender, and swollen. This is due to a buildup of fluid-filled cysts and fibrous tissue. There may also be nipple discharge.

This harmless condition is not uncommon in women aged between their 20s and 50s. It is not linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Some changes that might help reduce discomfort include:

following a low-salt diet
using mild pain-relief medication
At least one study has suggested that vitamin E and B6 supplements may help with cyclic mastalgia, and especially fibrocystic changes.

However, a systematic review concluded that vitamins make no difference.

Caffeine reduction and evening primrose oil are often recommended, but one systematic review has concluded that these are not effective in treating breast pain.

6. Mastitis
Mastitis is a painful infection of the breast.

It is most common during breast-feeding, due to a clogged milk duct. However, it can happen at other times.

Symptoms may include:

breast changes, such as warmth, redness, swelling, and pain
Treatment options include antibiotics. Some research has linked the use of probiotics with a reduction in the levels of some bacteria, suggesting that this could be a useful treatment option.

7. A poorly fitted bra
Breast pain can result from an improperly fitted bra. A bra that is too tight or too loose can compress the breasts or leave them improperly supported, resulting in discomfort.

To check if a bra fits properly, ask yourself:

Is the bra riding up at the back?
Are the straps or underwire digging in or the breasts bulging out?
Does the center fit close to the breastbone and can you pass a finger easily under the band below the cups?
Many department stores offer a bra-fitting service.

Wearing a sports bra during exercise can also be beneficial.

8. Breast cancer
Most breast cancers do not cause pain. However, inflammatory breast cancer and some tumors can lead to breast discomfort.

People should contact their doctor if they experience:

a lump or other area of concern in the breast
pain or a lump that does not go away after menstruation
any nipple discharge, bloody, clear, or otherwise
breast pain without a known cause or that does not go away
symptoms consistent with a breast infection such as redness, pus, or fever
Breast pain is not usually linked to cancer.

9. Back, neck, or shoulder sprains
Sprains in these parts of the body might end up causing painful sensations in the breasts.

This might occur due to the distribution of nerves in the upper torso.

10. Chest wall pain
A range of conditions can cause pain in the wall of the chest. This can sometimes feel as if it is coming from the breast, even though it is not.

Common causes of chest wall pain include:

a pulled muscle in the chest
inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the ribs due to costochondritis or Tietze's syndrome
This type of pain might seem to spread down the arm on moving and intensifies under pressure.

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 (periods). This is called cyclical breast pain.

Lasting pain in the breast that’s 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.

Treating breast pain
The options for treating cyclical and non-cyclical pain are often the same, though non-cyclical pain isn’t always as easy to treat.

If you have cyclical breast pain, your GP may reassure you that it’s a normal part of your monthly cycle.

Diet and lifestyle changes
Your GP may suggest some things you can try which might help reduce pain, but there’s limited evidence to show these work. These include:

eating a low-fat diet
increasing the amount of fibre you eat
reducing caffeine and alcohol
Well-fitting bra
Wearing a supportive and well-fitting bra during the day, during any physical activity and at night can be helpful.

Relaxation and complementary therapies
Some women have found relaxation therapy useful in reducing their symptoms of cyclical breast pain, such as relaxation CDs or apps, or other complementary therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy.

If your pain started when you began taking a contraceptive pill, changing to a different pill may help. If the pain continues, you may want to try a non-hormone method of contraception such as condoms, a non-hormonal coil (also called copper coil or IUD) or a cap (diaphragm).

If your pain started or increased while taking HRT and doesn’t settle after a short time, tell your GP.

Evening primrose or starflower oil
There’s evidence that having low levels of an essential fatty acid called GLA can contribute to cyclical breast pain. However, research has shown that taking additional GLA doesn’t always help the pain. Despite this, your GP may suggest that you try evening primrose or starflower oil (which contain GLA), as some women have found it helps them to feel better generally. Your GP will tell you how much to take and for how long.

Evening primrose oil doesn’t usually cause side effects, but a few people may feel sick, have an upset stomach or get headaches. It’s best not to take it if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. People with epilepsy are usually advised not to take evening primrose or starflower oil.

Pain relief
Research has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relief, such as ibuprofen, can help breast pain, particularly non-cyclical pain.

This type of pain relief can be applied directly to the affected area as a gel. It can also be taken as a tablet.

Before using this type of pain relief you should be assessed and get advice from your doctor on the correct dose, how long you should use it for and any possible side effects, especially if you have asthma, stomach ulcers or any problem related to your kidneys.

Paracetamol can also be useful in relieving breast pain, either with or without anti-inflammatory pain relief.

Hormone drugs
If your pain is severe, prolonged and hasn’t improved with any of the options already mentioned, your doctor may want to consider giving you a hormone-suppressing drug.

The drugs that are most commonly used to treat breast pain are:

tamoxifen: not licensed to treat breast pain and commonly used to treat breast cancer, but research has shown it’s also effective in treating cyclical breast pain so it’s sometimes used for this
These drugs have side effects, so will only be recommended after a discussion about the benefits and possible risks.

If you’re prescribed one of these drugs, your specialist will tell you what dose to take and for how long.

There’s some evidence that younger women may benefit from a short course of treatment, which can be repeated as necessary, whereas older women who are near to or going through the menopause may benefit from a longer course of treatment.

Reference: https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/benign-breast-conditions/breast-pain

0 UpVote

Rufai Oladimeji
Lagos State University
100Level, Nigeria.
Breast Cancer maybe!!!

Sorry, I don't mean to scare you... just answering your question.

And in fact, not all breast cancer cause pain in the breast, but some do.

And pain in the breasts isn't usually
a sign of breast cancer.

However, many women experience breast pain as part of their
normal menstrual cycle (periods). This is
called cyclical breast pain. So perhaps, that is where the problem comes from.

I also advise you report your case to the nearest reliable clinic. And again, don't be scared at all.

There are several possible reasons for pain in your breast and the possibility of it being cancer is very very low.

0 UpVote

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