Breast Pain Early Symptoms & Signs
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?
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In This ArticleFibrocystic Breast Condition Article
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- 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?
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In This ArticleInflammatory Breast Cancer Article
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- What are the signs and symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer?
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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
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- What research studies are under way on Paget disease of the breast?
In This ArticlePregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters) Article
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- 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?
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- Body aches
- Breast changes
- Fatigue, sleep problems
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- Hemorrhoids during pregnancy
- Leg cramps
- Morning sickness
- Nasal problems
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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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