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Monday, November 23, 2009 Red, Community Member, asks

Q: Pain under the left breast that stings to the touch. Pain goes under armpit and down left side.

This stinging pain runs from underneath my left breast, out to the side, underneath my armpit and down my side, near the ribs and scapula.  It is tender on the right side too, but only under the armpit and down to the side.  The left is much worse than the right and there doesn't seem to be any breast pain on the right side.  When I have a mammogram, the stinging pain that goes along with the compression is almost unbearable.  I know most women feel discomfort, but this is ridiculous.  I start to sweat the pain is so bad on the left side.  Not so much on the right side.  The sides of my legs, when I press on them, are sore too.  What is this?

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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/23/09 12:47pm

Hi, Red - Please read our post on breast pain - hopefully it'll help you determine what might be causng this. In addition, since it sounds like a full-body issue, you'd want to see your GP about this. It could be hormonal; it could be nerve-related; but there's no telling for sure till you consult a doctor. Good luck - PJH

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Red, Community Member
11/23/09 3:09pm

Thank you for you response.  Since I have this same stinging pain on the right side, other than the breast portion, I wasn't too worried about breast cancer.  It sure made me feel better, though, after reading the article.  I used to get cysts in my breasts that were very painful, caused by caffeine, so I have pretty much given that up.  The breast cysts have disappeared pretty much, but this painful stinging underneath the left breast and running along the muscle below each armpit and down the ribcage has not and seems new.  It's like the old cyst pain is spreading.  I have the same pain and stinging on the right armpit that goes down to the rib cage as well, so I guess I will talk to my doctor about it. Perhaps I should see a neurologist for nerve pain problems.  I have IT band tenderness too.  Any more thoughts with this new information? 

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/23/09 5:28pm

Sorry, I don't have any more thoughts - this goes way beyond my experience as a breast cancer survivor. We're not medically trained - we're simply well-read, experienced survivors. So beyond breast cancer - best to speak to your doctor, as you say. Hope you get to the bottom of it soon! PJH

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By Red, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/03/11, First Published: 11/23/09