When to Seek Help for Breast Pain
Naturally, people assume the worst when it comes to breast pain. There are many innocuous causes of breast pain (or mastalgia) and it is not usually a sign of breast cancer. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to have any abnormalities checked. 1 in 5 women are seen in breast clinics for reporting breast pain. Therefore, it is important to understand the various symptoms and causes of breast pain for you to know when to seek help.
There are a multitude of causes when it comes to breast pain. For example, breast pain is a normal symptom of early pregnancy. During pregnancy, your milk ducts will grow causing your breasts to enlarge. This can be a painful experience. You may develop further breast pain during breastfeeding, particularly with regards to mastitis or engorgement. While painful, these are common occurrences.
Breast pain is also common during menstruation. This is called cyclical breast pain and is a perfectly normal symptom when menstruating. Your breasts will typically be swollen and tender to touch and the pain can also affect your underarm area. Please feel free to contact your GP or us at Suffolk Breast Practice Clinic if your breast pain is having an impact on your general wellbeing, or if the pain worsens in any way.
If you are experiencing breast pain during your menopause, this is not usually a cause for concern. Breast pain is a natural symptom during the menopause due to fluctuating hormone levels and benign breast age related changes. Certain medications can also cause breast pain, so it is important to read the information pertaining to side effects of any medication you are currently taking.
Non-cyclic breast pain can also be related to any physical injuries you may have sustained or other conditions, such as arthritis, muscular pain, or costochondritis, which is rib joint inflammation. Breast pain may also be a symptom of psychological stress, such as anxiety or depression. If the pain is causing you significant discomfort, please do not hesitate to book an appointment with Suffolk Breast Practice. We offer a calm and non-judgemental consultation service that is sensitive to your circumstance.
When does Breast Pain become Serious?
It is important to know when your breast pain is a cause for concern. You should contact us for an appointment if you are experiencing changes in the shape or size of your breasts. Discharge from the nipples, either bloody or clear, should also be treated seriously as should painful rashes or dimpled skin around the nipples. For the sake of caution, you should seek help for breast pain that cannot be attributed to your menstrual cycle or if there are any signs of infection.
If you discover a hard lump in your breast, it should be taken seriously. You should contact your GP or a wellness clinic near you. If in the first instance you want to read a little more on what to do if you find a lump in your breast click here. While breast pain is not necessarily a sign of cancer, you should book an appointment with Suffolk Breast Clinic if there is a family history of breast cancer. You should also seek advice if the pain has not decreased or the breast continues to be swollen.
If you would like to book an appointment for examination, please contact us.
We understand that breast pain can be worrisome. Suffolk Breast Practice operates under an ethical code of conduct that places the needs of the patient first. We offer an empathetic service that ensures you receive the relevant information in a non-judgemental and impartial way.
If abnormalities are detected, a breast biopsy may be required to determine whether the condition is malignant. Treatment will be advised depending on each patient’s case. For example, treatment can include the recommendation of certain medications to alleviate the pain. Dietary and lifestyle changes may also be advised, along with any necessary therapies deemed beneficial to the patient.
At Suffolk Breast Practice, we work with you to ensure you make an informed decision on how to proceed. Your breast treatment care plan is our priority.