My right breast has been causing me a lot of pain the past two weeks. What could this be? I’m too scared to see my doctor.
With everything we hear about breast cancer, sudden breast pain like yours can indeed be frightening. Well, you can relax — while you are dialing your doctor’s number — because pain is an early symptom in only 10 percent of breast cancer cases.
Breast pain, or mastalgia, can have many possible causes. Cyclic breast pain affects many women of reproductive age, as part of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A sudden case of mastalgia, such as yours, could be caused by an injury or even a poorly fitting bra.
Breast pain is also a common symptom early in pregnancy. Benign, or non-cancerous, lumps or cysts sometimes cause mastalgia, too. Nursing mothers sometimes have pain from engorgement with milk, usually a few days after childbirth, or from infection or inflammation of the milk ducts.
Those are just a few of the possibilities. A visit to your doctor may help figure out what is causing your breast pain and what to do about it. Sometimes I wish people could think “I’m too scared not to see my doctor.” With most serious diseases, including breast cancer, the earlier you get treatment, the better your outcome.