Ask the Experts: Post-Pregnancy Breast Soreness
The Breast Cancer community is one of the many tight-knit communities on HealthCentral. So when a community member has a breast cancer “scare,” our experts and fellow community members are here to guide, encourage and support.
For this particular community member—a proud mom of a 20-month-old baby—a soreness on her left breast, near her armpit, started to cause worry. Our breast cancer patient expert was on the case!
For the past two weeks I have had a tenderness and pain on the side of my left breast, near the armpit. I’m not currently pregnant, nor is it time for my menstrual cycle. I am also experiencing a tingling sensation similar to the feeling of breast feeding. Between the unusual pains and sensations, sporadic leakage from both breasts and a menstrual cycle that is off kilter, I’m starting to worry. Could it be breast cancer?
First of all, please don’t stress over this—what you described are not typical breast cancer symptoms. While we are not doctors here—simply well-read breast cancer survivors—this kind of soreness, accompanied by changes in your period and/or nipple discharge, sound like typical hormonal issues. I’d suggest you wait a month and if the symptoms persist (or certainly if they get a lot worse), then see a doctor to find out what’s going on. Additionally, you may try going off coffee, and/or wearing a comfortable bra.
Breast pain can come from a lot of different sources, probably the least likely of which is cancer. It's usually hormonal; you might have a cyst that's growing and pressing on nerves; or a condition called fibrocystic change, which is painful but basically harmless, and quite common in women your age.
If this pain and swelling don't disappear within a few weeks, or if they continue to worsen day by day, it would be best to see a doctor. Please don't be afraid you'll get bad news; with health issues, it's better to move forward and take action than to do nothing and worry endlessly.
Best of luck to you,
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