Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
The most common cause of breast discomfort is from the effects of hormones on breast tissue from the female menstrual period. Many women experience mild monthly breast pain in conjunction with their periods (menses). For some women, however, the pain can be more severe. This premenstrual breast pain is referred to as cyclic breast discomfort. The exact cause of cyclic breast discomfort has not been determined.
Much less common causes of breast pain include benign growths (tumors) in the breasts (including cysts), breast cancer, and certain medications. It should be noted that breast cancers are often painless and can be detected by manual examination, mammogram, or ultrasound of the breast. Breast pain is called mastodynia, mastalgia, or mammalgia by physicians.
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Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Causes of Breast Pain
In This ArticleBreast Cancer Article
- Breast cancer facts
- What is breast cancer?
- What are the different types of breast cancer?
- What are the statistics on male breast cancer?
- What causes breast cancer?
- What are breast cancer risk factors?
- What are breast cancer symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose breast cancer?
- How are breast cancer stages determined? What are breast cancer survival rates by stage?
- What is the treatment for breast cancer?
- Is it possible to prevent breast cancer?
- What research is being done on breast cancer? Is it worthwhile to participate in a clinical trial?
- I may have breast cancer, what questions should I ask my doctor?
- Is the doctor sure I have breast cancer?
- What type of breast cancer do I have?
- What difference does a precise diagnosis make?
- What has been done to exclude cancer in other areas of the same breast or in my other breast?
- What type of medical team do I need for the most accurate diagnosis?
- Is my family history relevant to my breast cancer diagnosis?
- What other studies should be done on my breast tissue biopsy?
- How urgent is it that I make decisions and begin treatment?
- Should I stop taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?
- Even though my breast tumor does not have hormone receptors, should I take tamoxifen to reduce the risk of a new tumor?
- I have a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a type of localized cancer. Why have I been advised to have a mastectomy when other women with invasive cancer have lumpectomies?
- Should I start chemotherapy before surgery?
- If I am advised to have a mastectomy, what are the risks and benefits of immediate breast reconstruction?
- Should my lymph nodes be removed?
- What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy, and what are its benefits and risks?
- Are there any other questions I should ask my doctor?
In This ArticleFibrocystic Breast Condition Article
- Fibrocystic breast condition facts
- What are fibrocystic breasts?
- Is there a difference between fibrocystic breast condition and fibrocystic breast disease?
- What causes fibrocystic breasts?
- What are the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition?
- Which women are more likely to develop fibrocystic breast condition?
- Can fibrocystic breast condition affect just one breast?
- Why is it important to diagnosis fibrocystic breasts?
- How is fibrocystic breast condition diagnosed?
- Is there more than one type of fibrocystic breast condition?
- Why can fibrocystic breast condition be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer?
- Why don't all women with fibrocystic breast condition have breast biopsies?
- What is the recommended follow-up for women with fibrocystic breast condition?
- How is the risk of breast cancer in fibrocystic breast condition patients calculated?
- What are the treatments for fibrocystic breast condition?
- Are there any dietary or life style factors associated with fibrocystic breast condition?
In This ArticleInflammatory Breast Cancer Article
- Inflammatory breast cancer facts
- What is inflammatory breast cancer?
- How is inflammatory breast cancer different from other breast cancers?
- What are the signs and symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose inflammatory breast cancer?
- What are the stages of inflammatory breast cancer?
- What is the treatment for inflammatory breast cancer?
- What are the survival rates and prognosis for inflammatory breast cancer?
In This ArticleMale Breast Cancer Article
- Male breast cancer facts
- What is male breast cancer?
- How common is male breast cancer?
- What are causes and risk factors of male breast cancer?
- What are the different types of male breast cancer?
- What are male breast cancer symptoms and signs?
- How is male breast cancer diagnosed?
- What is staging of male breast cancer?
- What is the treatment for male breast cancer?
- What is the outcome (prognosis) of male breast cancer?
In This ArticlePaget Disease of the Breast Article
- Paget disease of the breast facts*
- Paget disease of the breast key points
- What is Paget disease of the breast?
- Who gets Paget disease of the breast?
- What causes Paget disease of the breast?
- What are the symptoms of Paget disease of the breast?
- How is Paget disease of the breast diagnosed?
- How is Paget disease of the breast treated?
- What is the prognosis for people with Paget disease of the breast?
- What research studies are under way on Paget disease of the breast?
In This ArticlePregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters) Article
- Pregnancy facts*
- What is the first trimester (week 1-week 12)?
- What is the second trimester (week 13-week 28)?
- What is the third trimester (week 29-week 40)?
- How will my baby develop week by week?
- What are the changes that happen to a woman's body during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester of her pregnancy?
- Body aches
- Breast changes
- Fatigue, sleep problems
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Hemorrhoids during pregnancy
- Leg cramps
- Morning sickness
- Nasal problems
- Numb or tingling hands
- Stretch marks, skin changes
- Urinary frequency and leaking
- Varicose veins
In This ArticlePregnancy Symptoms (Am I Pregnant?) Article
- 8 fast pregnancy symptoms facts
- Pregnancy symptoms in general
- 13 signs and symptoms of early pregnancy
- 8 signs and symptoms of later pregnancy
- 8 options for relief of pregnancy symptoms
Other Causes of Breast Pain
- Benign Breast Tumors
- Cyclic Breast Discomfort
- Breast Cyst
- Breast Infection (Abscess and Mastitis)
- Malignant Breast Tumors
- Plugged Milk Duct
- Thrombophlebitis (Mondor Disease)
Examples of Medications for Breast Pain
- Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)
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