ZocdocAnswers22 year old female with breast pains. What could it be?

Question

22 year old female with breast pains. What could it be?

2 days ago, I was walking to class and I experienced a sharp pain in my right breast. I thought it would go away, but it kept coming back sporadically all day. I started my period this morning and I am still getting a little bit of the pains. I looked in the mirror and that breast looks very slightly bigger than the other, barely noticeable. The other breast is painless. What could this be? I am scared of inflammatory breast cancer. I don't know who to call, my primary or my Gyno. Could I have cancer?

Answer

This is a great question. It is important to call your primary care doctor or gynecologist (both can deal with this issue so it is your preference) to make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and have a full history and physical. Depending on what your doctor discovers, he or she may send you for an ultrasound of your breast or a mammogram. It is likely that your breast pain is related to your menstrual cycle. Hormones cause premenstrual swelling of your breasts and cause mastalgia (breast pain) in some people. Another cause for unilateral breast pain is a cyst in your breast which is usually benign and might need drainage with a needle. Trauma can also cause breast pain and swelling but I'm sure you would have remembered getting struck or injured in that area. Fibrocystic breast disease is a benign condition which can cause breast pain which is helped by decreasing caffeine. Inflammatory breast cancer is very rare but is still possible especially if your breast looks red and inflamed so it is very important that you mention your concern to your doctor. Again, it is very important that you seek medical care as soon as possible to get a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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

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