Breast Pain

Breast Pain

Overview

Breast pain is a prevalent issue affecting individuals of various ages. The discomfort experienced can range in intensity and duration, and may indicate a variety of underlying conditions, from benign to more significant health concerns. Identifying the cause of breast pain is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. We stress the importance of not dismissing breast pain and encourage you to consult with our team of experienced professionals. By seeking our care, you will receive thorough guidance and support, focused on accurately diagnosing and effectively managing your condition.

What Is Mastalgia (Breast Pain)?

Breast pain is common, especially among women between 30-50 years old. The pain can vary in nature; burning, sensitive or sharp, and while it can be concerning, it is important to determine if it is cyclical in occurrence, as it can be linked with your menstrual cycle. Other things to consider would be ongoing pregnancy or if you are postpartum.

Breast pain can be managed with simple analgesia. In some cases, it requires further investigation. This can include an ultrasound, biopsy or mammogram.

Symptoms of Breast Pain

While cyclical breast pain can be linked with your menstrual cycle, non-cyclical symptoms should be carefully considered. This pain will affect each individual differently. Therefore, it is important to be aware of symptoms that can be worrisome.

Related to cyclical pain:

  • Tender
  • Swollen
  • Sensitive
  • Aching

Not commonly related to cyclical pain:

  • Burning
  • Visible rash or discolouration
  • Dimpling / Puckering
  • Oozing or producing discharge

What Causes Breast Pain?

Pain can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • Reaction to birth control
  • Inflammation / infection
  • Fertility medication
  • HRT / Antidepressant medication
  • Breast Cyst / Fibroadenoma
  • Lifestyle, including smoking & caffeine intake
  • Wearing unsuitable underwear
  • Stress
  • Breastfeeding

Diagnosing Breast Pain

You should speak in confidence with your medical professional if you are concerned about any new or existing breast complaint. The doctor or specialist whom you attend will ask some questions to determine the nature of the pain and how long you have been suffering from it. They may also want to consider your age, medical history and family history to rule out some diagnoses. In some cases, they might ask to assess the breast area to see if there are any palpable masses or lumps which may be of concern and merit further investigation.

Breast Pain That We Treat

Treatment can vary based on the cause. If the pain is simple and in line with your cycle then basic analgesia would be recommended. The consultant you see during your appointment at The Mid Ulster Clinic will be able to offer advice on medication or a private prescription, which you can take to your local pharmacy to obtain the medication.
In cases where a lump or mass has been discovered, you will be referred for the appropriate investigations. For some patients, this will include an ultrasound, biopsy or mammogram. It is important to note that a mammogram will only be offered in extreme cases where the patient meets the qualifying criteria. Following these investigations, you will be invited to a review appointment where you will discuss in detail the outcome of the investigations with your consultant. From this point you will be advised if further interventions or surgery are required, and we will aim to provide you with all of the information you need.

When To Get Help With Breast Pain

Breast pain can be simple and easy to resolve, but it should never be ignored. We encourage everyone to check their chest at least once per month and know what is normal for you at any time in your cycle. If you discover a new or worrying change in your breast then you should speak to a professional for advice. We offer a bespoke service to accommodate the needs of patients with this complaint. Your care is of utmost importance to us and we are glad to be able to offer reassurance to those who attend for breast concerns. For those who require additional investigations, there is a seamless pathway for referral and diagnosis.

Why Go Private for Breast Pain Treatment?

Should you need to see someone for concern with breast pain or changes, you will be assessed in our clinic by a breast specialist. This will reduce your waiting time for investigation and onward treatment if required. Should you require treatment, you will discuss your options with a medical professional in order to tailor a plan of care to suit your needs.

Last Reviewed By A Medical Professional On 01/29/24