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
By Laura NathanDoubting your diagnosis? Read on to find out what you might really
Sometimes even the best doctors miss the mark: About 40 percent of all
mistakes that M.D.s make are misdiagnoses, says the National Patient Safety
Foundation. That's because many ailments have similar symptoms or can be
detected only with tests that your physician might consider unnecessary if he's
confident in his verdict. If you're in the know about often-confused
conditions, though, you can ask the right...