Many women have breast tenderness and pain, also called
mastalgia. It may come and go with monthly periods (cyclic) or may not follow
any pattern (noncyclic).
Cyclic pain is the most common type of breast
pain. It may be caused by the normal monthly changes in hormones. This pain
usually occurs in both breasts. It is generally described as a heaviness or
soreness that radiates to the armpit and arm. The pain is usually most severe
before a menstrual period and is often relieved when a period ends. Cyclic
breast pain occurs more often in younger women. Most cyclic pain goes away
without treatment and usually disappears at
Noncyclic pain is most common
in women 30 to 50 years of age. It may occur in only one breast. It is often
described as a sharp, burning pain that occurs in one area of a breast.
Occasionally, noncyclic pain may be caused by a
fibroadenoma or a
cyst. If the cause of noncyclic pain can be
found, treating the cause may relieve the pain.
Breast pain can get worse with changes in your hormone levels or
changes in the medicines you are taking. Stress can also affect breast pain.
You are more likely to have breast pain before menopause than after
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