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Breast Pain

Breast Pain

Definition

Mastalgia is breast pain. There are 2 types of mastalgia: cyclic and noncyclic. Cyclical breast pain is most often associated with menstrual periods. Noncyclical breast pain is not related to the menstrual cycle.

Causes

Mastalgia can be caused by:

  • Hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy
  • Trauma to the breast
  • Mastitis
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Stretching of breast ligaments
  • Pressure from a bra
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Certain medications, such as hormone medications, antidepressants, or certain heart medications

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of mastalgia:

  • Having a history of breast surgery or breast injury
  • Having large breasts

Symptoms

Symptoms of mastalgia may include pain in the breast area. Pain may be mild or severe. It may occur in both breasts or just one. It may be painful only in one spot or all over the breast.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is most often based a review of pain patterns and the physical exam.

Your doctor may order further testing to look for any suspicious changes. These tests may include:

  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasound
  • Breast biopsy

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment will be based on what is causing your breast pain. General treatment options include:

Prevention

There are no current guidelines to prevent mastalgia.

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