Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there any painful symptoms of breast cancer?"
Is it possible for me to have breast cancer and yet feel no pain?
Concerns or questions about breast cancer can be very unsettling for many women. The best person with whom to discuss general medical questions about breast cancer is your primary care physician. He or she can put your questions in the context of your specific history and exam. It can often be helpful to discuss your concerns about a disease like breast cancer with a health provider because the anxiety of worry about whether you do or don't have cancer can be very powerful and disruptive to your life. There can be types of breast cancer that present with pain and others that do not. Much of the time pain in the breast is not indicative of a tumor, but there are exceptions to this. Overall a physician would want to evaluate patient pain, skin changes, as well as the appearance of a lump or mass on both physical exam and imaging such as mammography to give a sense of whether a lump or change in the breast is likely to be malignant or not. If there is any concern, he or she will refer you to a specialist who can perform a biopsy to obtain a small tissue sample to say with certainty whether a growth is malignant.