In rare circumstances, breast soreness interferes with the daily routines of some women of reproductive age and is not always related to the menstrual cycle. Premenstrual breast swelling and discomfort normally subside as menopause approaches due to the natural shift in hormone levels that happens as a woman matures. However, for some women, this swelling and pain becomes more frequent or intense as time passes.
Women experience different degrees of breast soreness during their lives. For many, breast soreness is simply an unavoidable part of aging; however, for others, it may indicate a more serious problem such as cancer. In this article we will discuss the causes of breast pain and evaluate its severity.
By itself, breast soreness does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with your breasts. It may be caused by one of several physical factors including: old scars from breast surgeries, calcium deposits in the chest wall from pregnancy or osteoporosis, or fluid buildup in the lungs from smoking or other lung diseases. In addition, psychological factors such as anxiety or stress can also lead to breast soreness.
Normally, the breasts undergo periodic changes as you age that cause some degree of discomfort. During puberty, breast tissue is added and removed by the menstrual cycles. As you enter your 30s and 40s, more fat is deposited under the skin and breast size increases. Eventually, the amount of fat decreases as you reach menopause.
The menstrual cycle of a woman generates changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. These two hormones can produce enlarged, lumpy, and occasionally painful breasts in women. Women occasionally claim that this discomfort worsens as they become older, owing to a woman's greater sensitivity to hormones as she matures. However, this is not usually the case; instead, older women tend to report more frequent pain with physical activity or anxiety.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. Early detection can save lives by allowing doctors to remove cells before they develop into tumors. Screening tests include: mammograms for women over 40 years old (and younger if recommended by your doctor), clinical exams (looking at the breast for any lumps or changes), and bone scans for people who have symptoms that may indicate breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Other factors can cause pain in the breast including:
• Enlarged, lumpy, or sore breasts that do not go away with treatment or medical care
• Breast inflammation or infection (mastitis)
• Breast injury such as from a car accident or fall
• Breast cancer metastasizing (spreading) from other parts of the body to the breast
Estrogen and progesterone can increase the number and size of ducts and milk glands in your breasts. As a result, the breasts expand and hold water. Both breasts may swell and become sore, uncomfortable, or lumpy a few days before your menstruation begins. These symptoms are expected and normal.
If you have never given birth, it is very unlikely that you will develop breast cancer. If you have had children, you should know that breastfeeding for a year can reduce your risk by 50 percent. After you stop breastfeeding, your child's diet needs calcium to build strong bones and protect against osteoporosis later in life. Milk products are the best sources of calcium.
As you get older, your chances of developing breast cancer increase. It is most common among women in their 40's and 50's. Other factors such as family history, ethnicity, alcohol use, obesity, age at first delivery, type of contraception used, and whether or not you have undergone a bilateral mastectomy are also associated with increased risks.
Breast cancer can be deadly if it is not treated in time. The only way to tell if you have breast cancer is through clinical examinations and mammograms. Breast self-exams and ultrasound exams are other ways to find problems before they become serious. Get checked regularly by doctors so you can get the treatment you need when you need it.
Pain or tenderness in your breasts can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
What exactly is breast pain? Breasts grow as a result of an increase in estrogen during puberty. Various hormones create changes in breast tissue during the menstrual cycle, which can cause pain or discomfort in certain women. While breasts do not usually ache, it is common to have periodic breast soreness. Breast pain that lasts more than two weeks may be a sign of a more serious problem such as cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women. Although much of this disease's impact is due to deaths caused by metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells beyond their original site, there are other factors involved as well. One such factor is genetics. Some women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer because they inherit the gene for breast and ovarian cancer syndrome. Women with this gene mutation can develop cancer of the breast, ovary, prostate, bowel, urinary tract, melanoma, lung, brain, and uterus.
Other factors include age, gender, family history, alcohol use, obesity, physical activity, reproductive history, including age at first period, number of children, age at last birth, and duration of breastfeeding.
A woman's chances of developing breast cancer increase with age. This is because breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among young women between the ages of 20 and 39. However many older women also suffer from breast cancer.
Yes, growing breasts may be painful. Breasts develop as a result of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormone levels rise as you approach puberty. Under the influence of these hormones, your breasts begin to expand. As they do so, any surrounding tissue may become irritated and cause pain.
If you are experiencing pain in your chest or back that isn't related to your menstrual cycle, isn't going away with sleep, and is persistent then it may be a symptom of another medical condition. See your doctor to find out what might be causing your pain.
Non-cyclical breast discomfort can be constant or intermittent. It can affect both menopausal and postmenopausal women. The discomfort may be felt in one or both breasts, and it may affect the entire breast or a particular location. It might be a scorching, prickling, stabbing, or tightening sensation. The cause is not known for certain, but it is believed to be related to hormonal changes associated with menstrual cycles or the use of oral contraceptives. Hormonal therapy, such as that used to treat menopause-related symptoms, could also lead to breast pain. So could radiation treatments after surgery for early-stage disease or chemotherapy for more advanced cases.
Discomfort due to hormonal changes is most common during peri-menopause, when a woman is between 45 and 60 years old. Menstrual cramps, increased sensitivity to heat and cold, and alterations in the brain chemistry are just some of the problems women may experience at this time. Post-menopause follows once a woman has gone through menopause; it can be described as the presence of pain without any apparent reason. Although post-menopausal women may experience hot flashes and other hormonal changes, these are not the cause of their breast pain.
About 10% of all women will experience breast pain in their lives. It is most common before a woman reaches menopause, but it can also be experienced by post-menopausal women who have lost their natural hormones.