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Tuesday, September 01, 2009 loving mother, Community Member, asks

Q: warm feeling on left breast

I have been experiencing a warm  feeling inside my left breast. I dont feel like this on my right breast. I started feeling this 3 years ago, I had mammogram that time but nothing. My fault though, was I didnt undergo ultrasound which was advised bec. I have a dense breast. My doctor now suspects some hormonal changes bec. I was using oral contraceptives. She advised me to stop OC and wait after 2 months. If I still feel feel warm after that time then I'll undergo mammo. Now my problem is I dont know if I still can wait for that time. Im very worried now esp. after reading abt. IBC/ Inflammatory Breast cancer.  Please if you now have answers to my queries pls. share the info. tnx

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Answers (4)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/ 1/09 1:01pm

Hi - This feeling of warmth, that's lasted for 3 years, wouldn't be a breast cancer symptom; it would have developed into a full-blown problem by now. Since it's on the left side, have you considered a possible heart issue? Or, as your doctor said, this may be hormonal. At any rate, please don't stress over cancer, as you wait for your appointment. Anything that's been happening for 3 years without getting appreciably worse almost certainly isn't cancer. Good luck - PJH

Ancilla Indigna, Community Member
9/ 1/09 7:22pm

This is a good example as to why I may get rid of my internet.


I'm sorry, but I don't like to criticize, however, the fact that she is feeling warmth and it has been happening for 3 years without any visible signs (on the skin or shape of the breast) does not mean that this isn't something the woman should be concerned about.  This could go on for 13+ years before seeing any signs that might not be detected on a mammogram, but by then, if it's cancer it would be too late.  I know because that is precisely what happened to my mother.  Also, I've had the same symptoms, yet the masses were NOT perceptible on a mammogram, and guess what? 
The doctor suspects it might be cancer (I'll find out after my biopsies this week).


LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR and be prudent about this.  You should not worry because that never helps, but you should be proactive in making sure you get a sonogram of the area.   Also, if the doctor(s) say that it isn't absolutely necessary to remove the area, if and once they pinpoint it, go with getting it removed. 

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/ 1/09 8:11pm

Ancilla, we're all entitled to our opinion. I'm not an MD. I'd guess you're not, either. So anything we say here is based on our own research, filtered through our intellect, and coalesced into opinion.


A warm breast is not generally a cancer symptom. In the case where it is, inflammatory breast cancer, the cancer would develop into a full-blown problem within weeks, not years. These are facts.


Again, in general, it can take up to about 8 years for cancer to grow to a size where it's detectable. In your mother's case, she must have had an atypical cancr - a very slow growing cancer indeed. And perhaps you have a very slow-growing cancer, too - I hope not! But either way, all I'm saying is it owuld be VERY UNUSUAL for the symptoms, as presented, to be cancer.


Not to say you shouldn't always be proactive about breast changes. It's not good practice to wait three years to get a breast change checked out. But now that she's getting it checked out, she'll have some information to go on. If they say it's nothing, she can believe them, or seek another opinion. If they find something, she'll have decisions to make about that, too. I err on the side of less surgery/less aggression; you err on the side of more. Who's right? Neither of us. Both of us. It's all up to the person with the issue.


Thanks for connecting here - PJH

Ancilla Indigna, Community Member
9/ 1/09 7:39pm

I accidentally gave the woman's comment below a thumbs up. 


If it was cancer or precancer it would NOT necessarily be "full blown" by now, or if it is, you wouldn't know without proper testing.   Those are the facts.  There is no typical time schedule for the development of cancer, no matter what anyone tells you on the internet.  Be prudent.

scgalloway, Community Member
11/12/09 11:51am

I just turned 41 and am having this same sensation.  I have now had an EKG, EKO/echo (however it's spelled) and a Nuclear Stress Test.  I am aware of this warm feeling "most" of the time and when I walk and move around it does seem to get worse especially if I am using the left arm associated with that side of my body.  I have gastro issues also and my doc felt it may be coming from some acid reflux as well, but I'm like you, now that they've ruled out my next concern is either breast itself or even lung, but I have no shortness of breath just that warm sensation.  I googled the subject and found your post and am now going to follow in hopes that it's happening to others. 


By the way, I am not on any oral premenopause stuff as I saw my gynecologist less than 6 months ago.  I have only one tube and ovary which is blocked now by essure birth control and has been for about 5 years...and I've had an endometrial ablasion to remove the inside lining of the uterus so I also have no monthly cycles.  Don't mean to be overly personal but hoping in sharing we can find a common denominator.

quigonator, Community Member
2/24/10 9:47pm

What was the outcome of this?

chelle, Community Member
1/10/12 11:29pm

Ok, I am 46 and for the past week have been having this same burning sensation on my left breast on the side.  I googled it and i came to this conversation.  Any updates????

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/11/12 5:44am

Sorry, no updates - just that, if it continues for several weeks, it would be best to see your doctor to find out the cause, if possible. This kind of burning can be hormonal, so you want to rule out a connection to your menstrual cycle first. Luckily, breast pain/soreness/burning is seldom a symptom of breast cancer, so please don't stress too much about that. Often a symptom like this will just disappear on its own; hopefully this will be the case for you. Good luck - PJH

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
1/11/12 6:16am

Chelle, as PJ says, this type of symptom is not usually cancer, but it can be an initial symptom of some types of breast cancer.  If it lasts longer than a week or two, please check with your doctor, especially if you develop new symptoms like swelling or redness.  Sometimes a burning pain is nerve related, so you might think about whether you have done something that could be creating pressure on a nerve such as a tight bra or a new exercise.  Often these kinds of symptoms go away on their own, but do follow up if the burning continues.

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By loving mother, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/23/14, First Published: 09/01/09