ZocdocAnswersIs the soreness I feel in my breasts the sign of something serious?

Question

Is the soreness I feel in my breasts the sign of something serious?

Not my time of the month so I'm a little nervous. Both of my breasts are sore and it won't go away. Is this the sign of something serious like cancer? What's going on?

Answer

Breast pain is typically divided into two categories: the kind that occurs with your menstrual period and the kind that does not. Breast pain associated with a woman's menstrual periods is the most common type of breast pain (also known as mastalgia). It is caused by the normal monthly changes in your hormone fluctuations. The pain typically described as heaviness or soreness that radiates to the arms usually affects both breasts. The pain can be most severe before a menstrual period and relieved once the period is completed. This cyclic type of breast pain typically affects younger women, disappears at menopause, and typically does not require any special treatment. Noncyclic pain, on the other hand, commonly affects women in their 30-50 years of age. The pain is usually sharp, burning and occurs in one breast. It is often caused by a fibroadenoma or a breast cyst. Usually Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) are sufficient for treatment. If your breast pain is accompanied by a discharge, redness, dimpling of the skin, any types of a rash, itchiness, or scaling of the skin or nipple, you should seek medical attention right away. You should also seek medical attention if your pain persists or gets worse. Getting a good physical exam by a physician who has already examined you previously (a primary care doctor or an OBGYN) is a good start because that doctor would be able to tell if there is any change.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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