Breast pain, also known as mastalgia, is commonly experienced by women due to various factors. In most cases, the symptom is characterized by an intermittent or constant, dull or sharp pain that is experienced in one or both the breasts due to menstruation. When classifying the most common types of breast pain a woman can experience, there are two categories:
For many women, pain in the breasts, whether it is cyclic or noncyclic is common cause for concern due to a fear of developing breast cancer. According to the. In most cases, breast pain is not an early indicator of breast cancer. However, pain in breast is one of the first symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of breast cancer. For inflammatory breast cancer, no lump is present during a physical exam and indications of breast cancer can remain undetected by a screening mammogram. Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include:
If breast pain is accompanied by any of the symptoms above, notify your doctor immediately. While inflammatory breast cancer is often confused with a breast infection, alert your doctor if symptoms persist after being treated for a breast infection. It is always best to err on the side of caution and notify your doctor if you suspect the pain in your breast is a possible sign of inflammatory breast cancer.
Here is a list of other factors that may cause symptoms of breast pain:
Various forms of home treatment are available for dealing with breast pain. Such home treatments include:
A reduction in dietary fat of up to 15 percent or less of a woman's regular intake can help reduce breast pain symptoms over time. Magnesium intake, through food or supplements, during the menstrual cycle can also help alleviate breast pain. While further studies are needed, reducing chocolate and caffeine intake can possibly help with breast pain symptoms.
Consult your physician prior to taking any form of over-the-counter medication, or making any changes to your diet to help treat breast pain symptoms. Your physician can help you outweigh the side effects or risks, and can also prescribe medication used to treat breast pain.
The main method of breast pain prevention recommended by the National Institutes of Health is to wear the appropriate size bra. It is important to ensure proper fitment to alleviate any pain, and to switch bra sizes when appropriate during breast development. A sports bra worn during exercise or physical activity can also help reduce soreness.