My right breast is swollen and sore. I can't find any lumps, either in the breast or under my arm, and my nipple is OK. I'm 32 and have never breastfed. Do you know what might be causing this swelling?
Breast swelling and soreness is fairly common as part of your menstrual cycle, and during pregnancy/breastfeeding. Your hormone levels fluctuate quite a bit during these times, and swelling and soreness is one of the results.
However, when just one breast swells up, it's typically not hormonal. You might have an infection of some kind; mastitis would the most likely. Contrary to what most women believe, it's possible to get mastitis without ever having been pregnant or breastfed; non-lactational mastitis can strike a woman at any time. Another possibility is a fluid-filled cyst that's suddenly grown larger; while not dangerous, cysts can cause breast swelling and be quite painful.
Sudden breast swelling is also a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. Thankfully, at your age, and given the rareness of this diagnosis, it's highly unlikely.
Whatever's causing this soreness and swelling, you need to get checked by a doctor – and fairly quickly. If it's an infection, early treatment can really make a difference.
hi thanks for answering my quaetion.i took your advice and went to my doctor the following day and she said i looked like a breast infection so she put me on a course of co-amoxiclav and referred me to the breast clinic. i have finnised my course of co-amoxiclav and my breast has gone down alot and it not as sore,but it still looks bigger then the other and it looks a lot firmer its only really sore wen i put presure on the side nearest my right arm.do u think it could be somthing more then an infection because it hasnt cleared totally after taking the co-amoxiclav course because i would rather b prepared before i go to the clinic on the 3rd febuary. thnx
See my answer at the bottom of this thread, OK? PJH
If it is right before your period, this could be hormonal; however, usually hormonal swelling and tenderness are on both sides. If it is the week before your period, you could wait to see if it gets better afterward. I wouldn't wait too long to see the doctor. As PJ says, infection or inflammatory breast cancer are possibilities for these symptoms, so waiting too long is not a good idea. Both infection and IBC also usually include redness and other symptoms, so you'll need a doctor to help you figure out what is going on.
Antibiotics do not make cancer get better, so this is probably an infection as your doctor suspected. However, the antibiotics have not completely cleared up the problem. I suggest you see what the doctor says. Consider asking for a referral to a breast specialist for a possible biopsy if you feel that your regular doctor is not being aggressive enough in diagnosing the remaining area of concern.
thank you i wll got back and see my doctor again
i went to the breast specialist like u advised me to the did a scan and found a lump so they put a needle in my breast and used the scan machine to guid them to the lump it really hurt me but they managed to get a litte bit of a sampe to send to the lab but not much will the do it again if its not enough.ireally hope not cause i was so for a day or 2 after it and i dont think i will be able to go through thet again. they have also said that they might need to cut some of the lump out.i go back on wednesday 9 feb.will they be able to tell then wot the diagnosis is by then cause i just need to know becase im thinking all kinds of things.
Hi - It sounds like they did a needle biopsy, to try to identify what the lump is that they found. Even a tiny bit of tissue can reveal cancer cells, so hopefully they won't have to take another sample. When you go in Wednesday, they should be able to give you results from the biopsy, I'd assume. If it's cancer, then you'll meet with a surgeon to discuss options for having the tumor removed. If it's not cancer, but they still want to find out what the lump is for sure - then yes, they may take a larger sample, either by needle, or with minor surgery. Be sure to tell them how uncomfortable the previous procedure was; some women do experience more discomfort than others. If they're aware of that, they may give you better local anesthetic, or pain medication for afterwards. Good luck - PJH
Rach, I know it's hard not to worry, but you will probably have the pathology report back on Wednesday. The vast majority of lumps, especially in young women, are not cancer, so try not to let your mind run away with you. I know from personal experience how hard that is to do. I've learned that the best thing to do is to stay busy and try to concentrate on other things. I hope you get a good report back on Wednesday. We'll be interested in hearing what happens.
thanks i have more of an idea of what to exspect on wednesday now and what they may or maynot need to do. i will definatly tell them about how painfull it was for me during and after the neelde biopsy.
i will let u know how i get on on wednesday.
thanks again for answering back to me i really appreciate it.
thanks and i do tend to think the worst an worry ,but u r right i will keep myself busy to keep my mind of it i will definatly let you know how i get on on wednesday
thanks so much for replying
Phyllis is right - it's VERY hard not to worry, but try to put that worry in a corner of your mind, and try to keep it there while you get busy with other things. The odds are definitely on your side. Please write back Wednesday afer your appointment, let us know how it goes- PJH
hi i went back to the breast clinic yesterday they said my test came back as not enough breast tissue think they said c1 or something like that so i have got to go back next thursday for a ultrasound wide core biopsy, thy said they will give me a local anaesthetic fo this as they didnt give me one last time the needle biopsy and it really hurt me . they said it will be another week after that when they will know the resalts, it seems like ages away.
Sorry you have to go through this again. And yes, the wait for biopsy results feels like forever. Try to keep busy, and believe that the results will be good; we'll all be pulling for you. Let us know what happens, OK? And come back anytime - we're here for you. PJH
The big difference between Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Mastitis in it's early presentation is ... Do you have a fever? A fever is present with an infection, but not with IBC.
It's been almost 3 weeks since you first wrote in to this group, so a breast specialist "Who is FAMILIAR" with IBC should be your first choice, IF your breast is still swollen at all (and you had no fever when this started).
Just stay vigilant.
thanks for your reply. i have got an appointment with the breast specialist on the 3 feb. but ive not had a fever, or rash but my breast is still swollen some days it looks bigger then other days and feels hotter then my left breast. and my nipple is fine.
Sven, you're diong the right thing, seeing your doctor. You might have an enlarged cyst; or an infection; or fibrocystic change, all of which can be bothersome, but aren't serious. However, a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) can start with a swollen breast. At your age, and considering its rarity, it would be very unlikely this would be your diagnosis; but it's still good to rule it out. I hope your visit to the doctor produces positive results. Good luck - PJH
Nothing that gives you pain and swelling is "silly," Sven; but I know what you mean, you hope it's not serious. No, you can't skip going to the doctor; follow through with your original plan, and if the doctor feels it's really something to worry about, s/he'll start the ball rolling right away. In my experience, if serious issues are suspected, you don't have to go stand in the back of the line for diagnostic procedures. Good luck - PJH
Hi there, I am 32 years old. I have had very severe pain in my left breast for over 2 weeks. Went to about 7 doctors until one of them finally gave me Danazol. The pain in my left breast is much better... infact almost gone, however, the left breast now feels fuller and looks a bit swollen. I keep going back to my family doctor, she keeps doing physical examination of my breasts and she can't feel any lumps. She ordered an ultra-sound and nothing came up on the ultra-sound. I have not had any fever throughout all this. She referred me to a Breast Clinic but my appointment is not for another month in the meanwhile, I don't know what to do.
Hi - I'm sorry you've had to go through all this, and right around the holidays, too. Not fun! Just to clarify, are you still taking the Danazol? If so, it might simply be masking pain that's happening for a reason: your body trying to tell you something's amiss. If you're still taking the Danazol, and you feel your breast is beginning to swell, contact your GP again, tell her you're worried about a potential infection, and ask if she can check for that. Also, ask if you can be moved up on the breast clinic appointment list, or at least be put onto the list for an earlier appointment if someone else cancels.
Thankfully, the symptoms you describe don't sound like typical breast cancer symptoms. If your breast does become noticeably swollen, and/or red/discolored/bruised; dimpled; or hot, then you'd have to worry about a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer. But in the absence of those other symptoms, and if you can get your GP to rule out an infection, then you might be looking at fibrocycstic change, a painful though basically harmless hormonal condition common in women your age.
I hope this simply goes away on its own soon; but if it lingers, I hope the breast clinic is able to diagnose what's causing the pain and treat it. Good luck - PJH