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Breast Pain - Understanding the Types and Reasons Behind it

Dr. Vandana Walvekar 91% (1860 ratings)
MD
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  49 years experience
Breast Pain - Understanding the Types and Reasons Behind it

Breast pain, also known as mastalgia, can be termed as any type of discomfort, pain or tenderness in and around the breast or the underarm region. It can also be accompanied by a sharp pain or a burning sensation.

There are two major types of breast pain

  1. Cyclical Pain: As the name suggests, this type of pain occurs on a cyclic basis and is linked with one’s menstrual cycle. It may happen when one is going through her periods and is influenced by hormonal imbalances. This type of pain is generally not a cause of concern.

  2. Non-Cyclical Pain: This is generally not common and its cause can be linked to a variety of reasons; cancer or a malignant tumour in the breast being the most severe consequence.

Causes of Breast Pain

  1. Lumpy breasts along with soreness and pain can be caused due to fibrocystic breast tissue.

  2. Hormonal imbalance can also lead to pain or discomfort in and around the breast region. Abnormal prolactin limits can also be a contributing factor.

  3. Breast cancer can also lead to pain, mostly in the left breast. Along with the pain, it can also induce a dull ache, tightness or heaviness in the chest.

Treatments for Breast pain

The various treatments for cyclical breast pain include:

  1. Making modifications in the diet

  2. Administering Vitamin E and calcium supplements

  3. Including thyroid hormonal supplements in the diet

  4. Reducing sodium intake in your diet

  5. For non-cyclical breast pain, which is often the cause of cancer, a thorough examination is recommended. A clinical biopsy will be advised if the lumpy tissues make the tumour harder to be detected through a mammogram.

  6. If the pain is on account of an injury, then appropriate painkillers will have to be administered to reduce the pain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist and ask a free question.
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