Breast Pain

Breast pain is an extremely common problem. In most women, the pain is cyclical, varying in severity in response to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. This cyclical pain is usually most severe before menstrual periods and tends to affect both breasts.

Breast pain (mastalgia) is a common type of discomfort among women  affecting 70 percent of women at some point in their lives.

Breast pain occurs more frequently in younger, premenopausal women, although women who are postmenopausal can experience breast pain, too. About one in 10 women experiences moderate to severe breast pain more than five days a month. In some cases, women have severe breast pain that lasts throughout their entire menstrual cycles. This can have a major impact on daily activities, such as work, family relations and sexual relationships.

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Breast pain alone rarely signifies breast cancer. Still, if you have unexplained breast pain that’s causing you to worry about breast cancer or otherwise disrupting your life, get checked by your doctor.

Cyclical breast pain affects as many as 1 in 2 women and is commonly a chronic problem. In some women, the pain is severe. Women who experience cyclical breast pain often also have generalized breast lumpiness, Which tends to become worse before a menstrual period. The pain may be aggravated by stress and by caffeine in certain drinks.

In some women, breast pain is not related to menstruation. muscle strain may result in noncyclical breast pain. rarely, pain is caused by a breast cyst or breast cancer. Breast pain may also be due to an acute problem, such as an infection that causes inflammation of the breast tissue or engorgement of the breast with milk after childbirth. sometimes, the cause of breast pain is not known. If you have large breasts, you are more likely to suffer from both cyclical and noncyclical breast pain.

What might the doctor do?
Your doctor will ask you about your breast pain to see if there is a pattern. He or she will examine your breasts to look for an underlying cause, such as a breast cyst or any tender areas in the surrounding muscles. If it is apparent from the consultation and examination that you do not have an underlying disorder, your doctor may ask you to keep a record of when you experience breast pain to help confirm that the pain is cyclical. If your doctor suspects that an underlying disorder may be causing the pain, he or she will probably arrange for mammography or ultrasound scanning in order to detect abnormalities in the breast.

Mild cyclical pain does not normally require treatment. however, in about 1 in 10 women, the pain is so severe that it can interfere with everyday life. Taking large doses of evening primrose oil has been reported to reduce the response of the breast tissue to female sex hormones. however, if this treatment is ineffective or the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe danazol, a drug that reduces the effects of female sex hormones acting on the breast. Although this drug is effective in relieving pain, it may have side effects such as acne and weight gain. cyclical breast pain tends to ease after menopause. if you take hormone replacement therapy, the pain may continue after menopause, but it often improves after a few months.

If your breast pain is non- cyclical, the cause will be treated if necessary. Cysts are usually drained and antibiotics can be used to treat infection. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve muscle pain.

What can be done?
Breast pain may be eased by wearing a bra that supports your breasts properly. If your breasts are heavy and the pain is severe, you may need to wear a bra at night. Cyclical pain may be relieved by cutting down on caffeine, practicing relaxation exercises to help control stress, and trying to lose weight to reduce the size of the breasts. Some women find that taking vitamin e supplements is also helpful, but this effect is not supported by scientific studies.

How the breast pain is normally treated?
There are different treatments for breast pain depending on what is causing it. You and your doctor can talk about these treatments and choose one or more that might work for you. Here are some possible treatments for breast pain:
*Wearing a support bra
*Taking an over-the-counter pain medicine
*Taking danazol (brand name: Danocrine) — for severe pain
Other treatments for breast pain are sometimes used. However, there is no proof that these treatments work:
*Avoiding caffeine
*Using less salt
*Taking vitamin E or vitamin B6
*Taking a “water-pill” (a diuretic)
*Most of the time, breast pain goes away on its own after a few months.

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


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