Is My Breast Pain Cancer?

One in 8 women in the U.S. will get breast cancer, so it’s not uncommon for a woman experiencing breast pain to wonder if the breast pain they feel is breast cancer. However, most breast cancers do not cause pain. There are certain types of breast cancer that can cause discomfort, but the best way to determine whether or not you have cancer is by having a mammogram.

Causes of Breast Pain

At some point during life, every woman will experience breast pain, also referred to as mastalgia. Most breast pain will resolve on its own. There are many causes of breast pain. During development, breasts are often painful to the touch or have hard bumps that are very sensitive. But breast pain can occur to women of any age. The most common causes of breast pain are cysts, which are benign lumps; medications, especially certain psychotics; changes in hormones, which occur throughout a woman’s cycle, when pregnant, during menopause, and during puberty; or Costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage connecting the ribs to the chest bone. Breast pain can also be caused by arthritis, dietary changes, or mastitis (an infection of the breast caused by a clogged milk duct).

How Do I Treat Breast Pain?

For cysts, mastitis, and hormonal changes, one of the best remedies can be a hot cloth. A hot cloth held on the breast can help ease the pain. Some breast pain can be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes.  Reducing salt intake, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly can help prevent breast pain. It can also be helpful to wear a properly fitted, supportive bra. Sometimes, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain or swelling.

When Should I See a Doctor for Breast Pain?

It is always wise to consult with your doctor if you have concerns. They can help you determine what is causing your breast pain and whether or not you need a mammogram.

Whether you and your physician decide you need to have a mammogram, an ultrasound, or both, visit PURE Mammography in the Smith Haven Mall today, no appointment necessary. You can also call 631-652-3424 or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or to learn more about PURE.

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