Breast Pain Seldom Means Breast Cancer

Sad girl lying in bed

Pain is a signal that something is wrong - but when it is breast pain, it usually isn't coming from breast cancer. Just about 5% of malignant breast tumors will get your attention by causing pain - you're more likely to notice a lump as you do a breast self-exam, or a mass may show up on a routine mammogram. Breast pain is most often about benign changes within, or just beneath, your breasts.

Women or men (sorry guys!) can have aching, tender, painful breasts. Of course, since women have more breast tissue than men do, they are more likely to have breast pain, and it is a common complaint. Sometimes just one breast hurts, but both sides can become involved. Just what you need, right? Stereo breast pain - shooting, aching, swelling, lumpiness, or just plain tenderness - it's all bothersome and unwelcome.

The good news is that breast cancer usually does not cause breast pain. But that doesn't mean that you should ignore it, or avoid your doctor's office just because you have breast pain. First, you should be sure you can locate the pain. Is it inside the breast - or beneath it? What kind of pain is it? When does this pain occur - perhaps its related to your menstrual cycle? Did it start when you went on a new medication? Or when you did some heaving lifting? Note down all these symptoms, and if some easy home remedies don't bring you relief, then ring up your doctor. Take in your list of symptoms, and be prepared for an exam and perhaps a few tests.

Breast pain may be due to an infection, hormones, injury, nip-ups with breastfeeding - all of which can be treated. Get a clear diagnosis and proper treatment, and make your "girls" happy again.

Was this page helpful?