Breast Pain

Breast Pain Specialist
In some instances, such as while on your period, breast pain is perfectly normal. However, in other instances it can indicate an underlying medical problem. If you experience breast pain, don't put off having a professional evaluation with a breast specialist, such as top-rated surgeon Judith Richmond, MD, FACS of the Oregon Breast Center in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Dr. Richmond has two decades of experience in treating medical breast issues.

Breast Pain Q & A

by Judith Richmond, MD, FACS

Why do I have breast pain?

Your breast tissue changes constantly throughout your menstrual cycle and as you age. It’s normal to have some pain and swelling occasionally. Some of the typical causes of breast pain include:

  • Menstruation or menopause
  • Premenstrual cycle syndrome (PMS)
  • Breastfeeding mastitis
  • Fibrocystic breast tissue
  • Certain medications
  • Fatty acid imbalance

Tumors and breast cancer growths aren’t usually associated with pain. But you should certainly have a thorough evaluation if you don’t know the cause of your discomfort.

What is noncyclic breast pain?

Most breast pain comes and goes with your menstrual period. This is known as cyclic breast pain. Noncyclic breast pain is the type of pain you get when you’re not on your period or going through PMS. Usually women experience noncyclic breast pain between the ages of 30-50, or after menopause.

Women describe noncyclic breast pain as sharp, burning, or tight. It usually affects only one area in one breast, rather than encompassing your entire breast. In some cases, pain from noncyclic breast pain is caused by a cyst, and the only way to relieve your pain is to remove the cyst.

When should I see a doctor about breast pain?

If your pain is continuously getting worse or if it’s keeping you from doing the things you enjoy, it’s time to see Dr. Richmond. You should also come into the office if your pain is associated with:

  • Nipple discharge
  • Breast lumps
  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent swelling

How does a doctor treat breast pain?

It just depends on the cause. For instance, lumps, growths, or cysts that cause pain might need to be removed through a surgical procedure. Dr. Richmond evaluates all of the medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter varieties, to see if any of them are causing your breast pain. She may conduct lab tests to determine if a hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency is the source.

If you regularly experience severe cyclic breast pain, it could be time to consider birth control or other medications to balance your hormones. Wearing a supportive bra and taking anti-inflammatory medications, if recommended by Dr. Richmond, may also help.

Don’t wait another day to find the cause of your breast pain. Call the office or schedule your breast exam through our online booking feature.

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