I Have Itchy, Painful Breasts. Should I See My Doctor Asap?

Question

Asked by Rachel

I Have Itchy, Painful Breasts. Should I See My Doctor Asap?

I started experiencing itchy, painful breasts about 2 weeks ago. There are no lumps nor visible changes to my breasts. I called my doctor; she didn't sound concerned, and I'm scheduled to see her in a month. I understand that early detection is key to surviving breast cancer and am wondering if I should go to my doctor's office tomorrow and insist that she see me sooner.

Answer

If the itchiness and pain was occurring in just one breast, not both, I'd say yes, be concerned. But when both breasts are involved it's rarely (in fact, almost never) anything to do with breast cancer.

Did you start using a new detergent or shower gel? Start eating something that could be causing an allergic reaction? Maybe you're wearing a new bra? Breasts are sensitive, and can react to a small change with itchiness and/or soreness.

You might also be experiencing fibrocystic change, a benign condition linked to fluctuating hormone levels that many pre-menopausal women deal with. While not dangerous, it can produce the symptoms you describe.

Maybe you could prevail on the doctor to fit you in simply to assuage your emotional stress. It's good to be diligent about breast changes, so I'd get it checked. But frankly, since it's in both breasts at once, this doesn't sound like a cancer symptom.

Answered by PJ Hamel