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Wednesday, September 02, 2009 MrsV, Community Member, asks

Q: Burning Sensation in Nipple

Three months ago, I started feeling burning sensations in my left nipple. The feeling comes in random waves throughout the day. In July, I had a breast exam -- nothing. Last week, I had a mammogram -- all clear. My doctor thinks it's nothing. Should I get a second opinion?

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Answers (3)
Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
9/ 2/09 1:06pm

When your doctor says, "It's nothing," does he or she have an opinion on what is causing this sensation?  It's true that people get all kinds of pains and twinges all the time that no one can really explain, but I'd like my doctor to work with me a little more about trying to figure out a change that has been going on for three months.  It's unlikely to be breast cancer.  In general, cancer symptoms don't come and go.  When I've had burning pains, they've usually ended up being diagnosed as a nerve-related problem, but I can't even begin to guess what is causing your sensations.  Since you've reported this to the doctor and been checked out, I think it would be OK to do a little more watchful waiting.  If it starts to get worse, then I'd recommend that second opinion.

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MrsV, Community Member
9/ 2/09 1:11pm

Thank you, this is very reassuring and helpful. At my annual exam, she said it's probably nerve related ("pinched nerve"). Once the mammogram came back fine, she didn't think we should do further testing.

 

I am more scared that it's a symptom of cancer. The burning sensation is distracting but I can ignore it.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/ 2/09 2:59pm

Hi - I'm sure this is very annoying, but it doesn't sound like a typical cancer symptom. Please read our post on nipple issues for more information about what could be causing this. Good luck - PJH

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Divine, Community Member
3/22/12 11:30pm
Hi I have burning in the breast nipple but have herniated discs in my neck. Do you have herniated discs Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/23/12 5:26am

Hi - Have you read our post on nipple issues? It may help you figure out what's going on... If the sensation lasts longer than a month with no relief, you'd probably want to see your doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH

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nk, Community Member
3/10/10 7:36pm

Ive been having a burning sensation too. It is in my right nipple, but only happened twice--both times I was running. This has never happened before, and it's only on the right one. It clearly is not chafing. There is no sore to speak of, or disrupted skin, just a burning sensation that goes away when I stop running. Also, my nipple gets very erect and sort of purple-ish. But it goes away promptly after I stop running.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/10/10 9:06pm

This, too, doesn't sound like a cancer symptom. But if it doesn't improve within a month - or if it gets worse suddenly - best to see a doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH

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mary, Community Member
5/11/12 6:07pm

Hello, I have just recently started jogging and have experienced buring in my right nipple also, which is what prompted me to search for an answer in the first place. I was somewhat relieved to read of your experience since I was getting concerned as any women would.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
5/11/12 9:15pm

Your nipple is probably irritated, Mary; do you have a good, supportive sports bra, one that prevents rubbing and chafing? If the burning continues longer than a month, it would be best to see a doctor, find out what's causing it, OK? Good luck - PJH

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Kay, Community Member
4/ 3/10 6:08pm

OK, I was lying on my right side and started to feel a burning sensation above my left nipple.  I am very small chest and it started to feel like something was growing on the inside. It is so hard to explain this feeling. I rubbed my fingers across my breast above my nipple and it felt like lumps. Little lumps. OMG! I am starting to freak out.  But this burning sensation will not go away. That fact that is started so suddenly is what blows my mind. I have never had this before and truly wanted to rush to the emergency room.  You hear so much about breast cancer that that is the first thing you think it could possibly be. Not to sound negative but it scares you. Could it be I don't have enough estrogen or something? I know my doctor told me my hormones were out of whack so could this be something related to that? Please help me, I am so scared!!!

 

Thanks,

Kay

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
4/ 4/10 7:22am

Yes, Kay, this could definitely be hormonal. Considering it's on your left side, you'd also want to rule out any heart issues. If this burning continues, it'd probably be best for you to check in with your doctor. While this doesn't sound like a breast cancer symptom, you do want to rule out a cardiac problem, and at the same time, if the doctor thinks it's hormonal, perhaps work on getting those levels adjusted. Though do beware of hormone replacement therapy (HRT); it's been shown to increase your risk of breast cancer. Good luck - hope it disappears soon! PJH

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Psalm121, Community Member
4/ 4/10 10:59am

Kay

Just to reassure yourself, please see your gynecologist for a breast exam--maybe he/she could send you for a breast ultrasound.  I don't mean to alarm you but we have to listen to our bodies and sometimes make the "professionals" listen to us.  I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, right  breast in July 2009 and the only symptoms I had were: burning pain, that was continuous through two months and really prominent veinous pattern.  My breast ca was finally found after having a breast mri that led to me getting a needle core biopsy.  But if the tech had ultrasounded my entire right breast and not just the area where the pain was the tumor would have been found a month and a half earlier. 

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kellz, Community Member
2/ 9/14 1:53pm

Hi I'm 19 years old and i have experiencing a burning sensation in my right breast.It comes and goes so i didnt take it too serious;but for the past two weeks it hasnt been going anywhere. the burning sensation remains everyday for the two weeks. I tried taking showers to see if it would help and the it would stop for about 2mins and start back up. Its begining to get really uncomfortable. Im a small chested girl and the burning feeling is worse when i where a bra. Can someone please help. Thanks

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/ 9/14 2:29pm

Since the pain is worse when you wear a bra, perhaps something, maybe a bra strap, is pressing on a nerve.  You could try having a professional help you get a properly fitting bra to see if that helps.  You could also take an inventory of any changes in your activity level.  Have you been play a sport that uses your right arm like tennis?  Or have you been swimming more and been exposed to chlorine in a pool?  Thinking about your recent activities could help you figure out what is going on and help you come up with a strategy for solving the problem.  However, because this has been getting worse over time, having a doctor check it out would be a good idea.  I don't think this will turn out to be anything serious, but the doctor may be able to set your mind at ease.  He or she may also have some good ideas for getting rid of the problem.  

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kellz, Community Member
2/ 9/14 3:59pm

Thanks for your response. I have not been into any sports lately. In highschool (which was about 7 months ago)i was very active and were in many clubs and organizations such as cheerleading but never swimming or tennis. I dont know what can be causing this its very uncomfortable. Im worried and dont know what to do. Is there any other readon you think might cause this.

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/ 9/14 4:52pm

You might want to read our article about breast pain to get some background information about reasons for breast pain.  As I mentioned in a reply at the top of this thread, the word "burning" makes me think of times when I have had nerve-related pain, but I'm not a doctor, so there could be all kinds of reasons for your pain I wouldn't know about.  It seems that most of the people who have responded to this thread did have some sort of nerve issue that was causing the pain in their breasts.  

It sounds like one change in your life is that you are less active than you used to be, so maybe the lack of stretching for cheerleading is leading to some muscle tightness that is putting pressure on a nerve.  Another thing that is important to keep in mind for any kind of pain is that sometimes where we feel pain is not where the problem is.  That kind of pain is called "referred pain" and is not at all unusual with breast pains of various kinds.  We always recommend that women see their doctor for any breast change that lasts longer than a month.  So monitor this, and if it doesn't get better, please check in with your doctor.  In the meantime, please don't worry that this is a cancer symptom.  Just see the doctor so that you can get some relief from the pain.

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kellz, Community Member
2/ 9/14 5:05pm

Thanks alot and i will deffinitely monitor it and get back to you ..thanks again you have been slot of help

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kellz, Community Member
2/ 9/14 3:59pm

Thanks for your response. I have not been into any sports lately. In highschool (which was about 7 months ago)i was very active and were in many clubs and organizations such as cheerleading but never swimming or tennis. I dont know what can be causing this its very uncomfortable. Im worried and dont know what to do. Is there any other readon you think might cause this.

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By MrsV, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/09/14, First Published: 09/02/09