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Wednesday, February 18, 2009 hollgirl10, Community Member, asks

Q: My right breast is sore, swollen, red and in a lot of pain. What could this be?

I woke up this morning and noticed how tender my breast was when I was getting dressed. I then realized that it was swollen, sore, red just above the nipple, and i can feel a lump under the skin where it is red. I am in a lot of pain but I cannot figure out what this could be. I am 20 years old I have no children and have never been pregnant. There is no history of breast cancer in my family, however I do not think that's what it could be. I have been putting a heating pad on it but so far no change. Is there anything else I can do or do I need to see a doctor? Thank you

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Answers (2)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/19/09 6:06am

The most likely cause for your symptoms would be an infection; even women who aren't breastfeeding get them from time to time.  You definitely need to call a doctor about this because an infection can get worse or chronic without proper treatment.  A possible, but less likely cause, for your symptoms is a type of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, which is relatively rare.  Get this checked out right away and let us know what you find out.

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
2/19/09 6:09am

Hi - Absolutely see a doctor. Sounds like you have a breast infection. Inflammatory breast cancer is also a possibility, but at your age, it's almost definitely something else. But don't treat this lightly; whatever is going on in your breast needs to be treated ASAP, OK? Good luck - PJH

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By hollgirl10, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/05/13, First Published: 02/18/09