Many women experience Breast Pain
AT some stage in their life Most women develop breast pain, which can vary from mild to severe, with treatment options including painkillers and topical anti-inflammatory drugs.
Breast pain can be classed as either ‘cyclical’ - where the pain is related to periods, or ‘non cyclical’ - where the pain is not period-related.
Up to seven in 10 women develop breast pain at some stage during their lifetime. About two in three cases are cyclical.
CYCLICAL BREAST PAIN
Cyclical breast pain can occur at any age from commencement of periods, but it is most common between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Occurring in breast tissue which is more sensitive than usual to hormonal changes, cyclical pain is not due to hormonal disease or any problem in the breast itself.
Symptoms can be mild and may only begin in the days before a period. However for one in 10 women the pain can be severe and may last one to two weeks before a period. Pain usually eases once the period arrives.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR CYCLICAL BREAST PAIN
In severe instances treatment options include: * Breast support. A well supporting, correctly
fitted bra can help ease pain. * Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
may help. * Topical (rub-on) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) such as topical diclofenac or ibuprofen can also help. * Evening primrose oil can be taken for at least a four-month period at a dose of 120-160 mg twice daily. * Consider your medication. Contraceptive pills, HRT, anti-depressants and certain blood pressure medications may be a contributing factor.
NONCYCLICAL BREAST PAIN
Unrelated to periods, noncyclical breast pain may occur on a regular basis or sporadically. Pain may be in one breast or localised to one area, and is most common for women over 40 years. There are various causes and consequently medical assessment should be sought. In many cases the pain goes away after a few months without any treatment. NSAID's such as ibuprofen may ease the pain as can topical
“Up to seven in 10 women develop breast pain at some stage during their lifetime.”
NSAID's. Other treatments may be appropriate depending on whether a cause is found.
BREAST PAIN AND BREAST CANCER
The first symptom of breast cancer is usually a painless lump. Pain is not usually an early symptom; however you should see your doctor if you have any concerns about breast pain or any other breast symptoms. Consult your GP promptly if you have breast pain and any of the following: * A lump in your breast or under your arms * A discharge from a lump or nipple * A family history of breast cancer * Swelling and redness in your breasts * Any symptom of pregnancy, such as a missed period.
Breast pain can vary from mild to severe