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Friday, February 20, 2009 jj2009, Community Member, asks

Q: I have been have breast/nipple pain in my left breast....

It started a year ago.  My dr said its probably nothing it should go away.  At the time by breast was slightly swollen and the pain radiated from my nipple to my armpit. (aching feeling)  Well, its been a year I continue to get the achy filling all the way to my armpit.  My nipple is ultrasensitive and not in a good way, its in a stingy burny bad way.  I get a "let down" feeling sometimes (my youngest child is 4 years old) and sometims my nipple will just get hard for no reason and it tingles/stings feeling.  I am not sure what to do.  I went to my pcp and he googled solutions for breast pain and told me to use vitamin and its normal for me to have this pain.  I don't feel like this is normal, it hurts as in pain not sure.  It does not start and stop during my cycle or in anypattern, my breast pretty much has a full feeling all the time,  their is no outward appearance changes to breast or nipple.  I am not sure what to do at this point.  Just keep on living with it?  It is disruptive I will just walk around holding it sometimes cause it aches...Im so confused.....Is it truly something I just have to live with?  Is it normal to have breast nipple pain that radiates up to my armpit?  And nipple pain...?  daily for a year?  very confused and just want some kind of direction to take to relieve the pain.  I just touching my breast can give a good diagnosis of any type of problem can it?

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Answers (6)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
2/20/09 6:07pm

I understand your confusion; it must be very difficult living with this discomfort for so long. Luckily, this doesn't sound at all like breast cancer; it would have become evident it was cancer sooner than this. Nevertheless, it would be good to have it diagnosed and treated, whatever it is. It could be a hormonal issue of some sort. Have you been to a breast specialist? If not, that's the first step. The second step would be, I think, seeing an endocrinologist. So advocate for yourself, and have your PCP refer you to the next level up, OK? Good luck - PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/21/09 6:16am

I definitely agree with PJ that you should ask for a referral to a breast specialist.  Although pain can be an initial symptom of a type of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, I think that you would have seen an escalation in symptoms over the course of the year if you had cancer.  However, the level of pain you are describing needs more investigation.  "Probably nothing" is not an adequate diagnosis for symptoms that interfere with your ability to follow your normal routine.  

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jj2009, Community Member
2/21/09 11:23am

Thank you very much for giving me that extra voice I needed (push) to seek out a breast health specialist.  It just did not feel right for my pcp to write off the pain as just normal woman issues.  Especially since I explained to him that it affects being intimate with my husband.  He pretty much knows that the left breast is off limits, because of the pain caused by him touching or stimulating my nipple...So, thank you again I will be seeking a breast health specialist to help put this pain to rest...hopefully.  Or to at least get a cause. :)

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lb, Community Member
11/23/09 9:03pm

i am having similar issues.  did you ever get an answer from a specialist?

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/23/09 10:39pm

Best not to wait for an answer here - why not call the doctor, describe your symptoms, and see what you can find out about this pain? PJH

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Tracy, Community Member
5/ 8/09 1:45am

I've been having the same problem, only in both nipples.  It's gotten so bad I can't stand to have my nipples even touched and I'm dosing myself with tylenol PM to stay asleep at night. (found your post via google search for "nipple pain"). Please tell me, did you ever find out what the cause was?

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blue zebra, Community Member
7/11/09 1:21am

ok. my problem is simliar. im 18 and bout a couple months ago i noticed a lumb like shape behind my nipple. like the size of a flattened golf ball.... it didnt hurt at all. not one bit. BUT in the past two weeks its gotten bigger and surounded the whole area behind my nipple. and it HURTS and AHCHES i have to hold it sometimes. the diameter of my breasts has increased slightly.... ive not been to a docter but poeple tell me its a swollen milk duct or something like that. idk but its painfull. and if i go to a docter and theyyyyy sayyyy that its just a hormonal problem ima get a bit ticked. this isnt normal either........and i cant touch it, press it, jogg like i used to, or keep a straight face when it starts throbbing. i GRIMACE. :( and im scared. what is it? is that like that hers was??? please help

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
7/11/09 6:37am

Hi - Don't predict what the doctor would say if you went to him/her - GO to a doctor and see what's up. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, ask for a referral to a breast specialist. I'm guessing you have a painful cyst, or a fibroadenoma, both of which are quite common in younger women. Whatever it is (and it doesn't sound like cancer), you need to have it looked at, identified, and then treated. Don't waste time worrying - make an appointment and get the process started. Good luck - PJH

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Cara, Community Member
2/ 6/10 12:16pm

Dear jj2009,

Have you seen a specialist yet?  I have the exact same thing-also left breast and honestly it is getting unbearable!  I cant get an appointment with a breast specialist for 6wks!!  Please share your experience thus far with us.  thank you.

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Jwebb, Community Member
2/17/11 8:13pm

I am having the same problem in my left breast and I am scheduled for a biopsy...did they ever say what yours is ? They did a follow up sonagram on mine after the mamogram showed a lump...I do hope it's nothing.

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/17/11 8:19pm

We hope that lump is nothing dangerous too.  Most breast lumps that need a biopsy are not cancer, so be hopeful that yours will be OK too.  Let us know what you find out.

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By jj2009, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/27/11, First Published: 02/20/09