There is some tenderness in my breasts, should I be worried?

When you first experience breast tenderness, the unfamiliar pain can be jarring and worrisome. These pains can create reasonable concerns in regards to your health and wellbeing. Despite this, it is important to take a deep breath and relax! Breast pain is extremely common and the discomfort you’re experiencing is most likely non-cancerous. 

Breast pain varies from person to person and can feel like a dull ache, tenderness, burning sensation, or sharp pain. There are two main types of breast pain. Identifying your symptoms and aligning them with one of the two types will help you correctly assess the level of concern.

The first and most common type of breast pain is Cyclical. Cyclical breast pain comes and goes with your menstrual cycle and is related to hormonal changes in your body. This type of pain usually involves both breasts. Cyclical breast pain often worsens the week before your period but improves after you begin to menstruate. This breast pain is normal and wouldn’t require any medical treatment or evaluation. 

The second type of breast pain is noncyclic. This pain normally involves only one breast and is unrelated to your menstrual cycle. Non-cyclical breast pain has a wide variety of causes and the cause is harder to determine. But much like cyclical pain, the causes are usually benign. (In fact, the most common reason for this pain is a poorly fitting bra!) This type does require more evaluation, however, because pains related to breast cancer tend to focus on one specific spot. 

Professionals recommend speaking to a doctor if you experience these symptoms: 

  • You have a lump in the area of pain that does not disappear after your period 
  • You have redness, swelling or drainage from the area
  • You have nipple discharge 
  • The breast pain lasts more than two weeks 
  • The breast pain is just in one specific spot 
  • Your breast pain keeps getting worse. 

Most times, breast pain is harmless, but sometimes it’s not.  If worries regarding your breast pain persist, or if you’re experiencing the symptoms above, a mammography can put your mind at ease. Call for questions or to schedule your appointment.