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Monday, March 29, 2010 Hampton, Community Member, asks

Q: Pain in left breast, shoulder.


I have intermittent pain in my left breast. Sometimes it is a sharp nagging pain which lasts a second or 2, sometimes it is an achy pain. It also travels to my left shoulder and chest. I have a history of costochondritis. I have 4 tiny cysts which I have been told look fine after an ultrasound. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/29/10 5:37pm

Hi - Pain on the left side radiating into the shoulder or arm can be due to heart issues. I'd suggest you see your doctor about this, to rule that out, and to diagnose what might be going on. This doesn't sound like a breast cancer symptom, but you do need to figure out what it is. So call the doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/29/10 6:14pm

Your costochondritis (inflammation in the cartilage of the ribs) could well be the culprit here.  Costochondritis pain is sometimes experienced as breast pain, and often confused with heart symptoms.  You will need a doctor to make the diagnosis.  I agree with PJ that you need to rule out heart problems first.  If you develop redness, swelling or other symptoms along with the pain, you might have an infection or a rare type of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer; however, the intermittent nature of your pain makes those diagnoses less likely.

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By Hampton, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 03/29/10