Get answers to your Breast Cancer questions.
Pain - breast; Mastalgia; Mastodynia; Breast tenderness
There are many possible causes for breast pain. For example, hormone level changes from menstruation or pregnancy often cause breast tenderness. Some amount of swelling and tenderness just before your period is normal.
Although many women who have pain in one or both breasts may fear breast cancer, breast pain is NOT a common symptom of cancer.
Some amount of breast tenderness is normal. The discomfort may be caused by hormonal changes due to:
Soon after childbirth, your breasts may become swollen with milk. This can be very painful. If you also have an area of redness, call your health care provider. Breastfeeding itself may also cause breast pain.
Fibrocystic breast changes are also a common cause of breast pain. Fibrocystic breast tissue contains lumps that tend to be more tender just before your menstrual period.
Certain medications may also cause breast pain, including digitalis preparations, methyldopa (Aldomet), spironolactone (Aldactone), certain diuretics, Anadrol, and chlorpromazine.
Shingles can lead to pain in the breast if the painful blistering rash appears on the skin over one of your breasts.
Valea FA, Katz VL. Breast diseases: diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant disease. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 15.
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