Several women experience tenderness and pain in their breasts, also known as mastalgia. Breast pain is not a pervasive sign of breast cancer, though, at times, aching lumps are due to the presence of breast cancer. It could be a transitory occurrence that arises and subsides with menstrual cycles – a cyclic pattern or noncyclic and not following anyway.
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- This is the most prevalent form of breast pain due to regular monthly fluctuations in hormones. The pain is generally felt in both the breasts and is usually expressed as feeling heavy or sore, the sensation radiating to the underarm and arm area. The pain is usually felt quite severely before a menstrual period and is mostly allayed once the period concludes. Younger-aged women tend to experience this kind of cyclic pain frequently. The majority of the cyclic pain generally subsides with no need for treatment and typically disappears when the woman turns menopausal.
- This is prevalent among women between the ages of thirty to fifty years. It might be felt in just one breast and is mostly illustrated as a prickly, burning pain sensation that is felt in one part of the breast. Seldom noncyclic pain could occur due to fibroadenoma or due to a cyst. If someone could recognize the reasons leading to noncyclic pain, then the proper treatment could help assuage the pain.
There could be deterioration in the intensity of breast pain due to hormonal fluctuations or a switch in medications consumed. Stress could additionally affect breast pain. One is more prone to experiencing breast pain before menopause as compared to after turning menopausal.
Treating Breast Pain
One could assuage breast pain by the use of non-prescription medications that comprise of:
- Acetaminophen like Tylenol or Panadol.
- NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or aspirin (Anacin, Bayer).
It is imperative to adhere to what is advised on the labels and instructions on the pack. In case one is attempting pregnancy or is expecting a child, it is essential to first seek a medical opinion before using any medicine. Those women below twenty years of age must not take aspirin as it raises the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
Acute cyclic breast pain could be treated using prescription medications like Danazol, bromocriptine, and tamoxifen citrate. Such medicines are, however, seldom taken due to their considerable side effects. Yet, it is vital to ascertain if the advantages outweigh the risks of taking such medicines.
Breast pain could be relieved by:
- The use of oral contraceptive pills could assist in reducing cyclic breast pain and breast swelling before periods. However, breast pain is additionally an identified side effect of oral contraceptive pills.
- Intake of magnesium supplements during the latter half of one’s menstrual cycle (generally fourteen days before the subsequent period) could allay breast pain along with several other PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome signs.
- Lowering the intake of dietetic fat to fifteen percent or less of one’s dietetic intake would reduce breast pain over some time. A small-scale study has revealed that when one follows this dietetic amendment for lifelong, it immensely lowers breast pain.
- Researchers have not yet shown any association between caffeine and breast pain though few women reported decreased breast pain when they dropped the quantity of caffeine intake.
During exercise, a sports bra worn could help in averting pain, tenderness, and discomforting sensation in the breasts. The bra must maintain the breast in a near unmoving position and facilitate their movement together with the chest and not individually. It is imperative to buy a new sports bra as the fabric is stretchable and has a tendency to become less supportive. A woman whose breasts are developing must go in for a new bra twice a year.