Painful Lumps

Should You Worry?
Breast tumors are rarely painful. In most cases, painful lumps are harmless cysts or fluid-filled sacs, but not always. That is why a mammogram is the first step in checking to make sure your lump is benign.

What is done when a cyst is diagnosed?

  • Cysts are either left alone or if they are causing a lot of pain, they can be drained by your doctor with a needle.
  • Having a cyst in your breast does not affect your cancer risk. Breasts are glands, and their job is to make secretions. Cysts often appear before your period when breasts may secrete more fluid.
  • Cysts can be a concern because cystic breasts are more difficult to examine due to their lumpiness. When many cysts are present, some women may be less likely to be concerned when finding a new lump. That is a mistake. You should carefully evaluate any new lump you find.
  • Another possibility for breast pain is mastitis or an infected milk duct. This problem can cause your breast to be sore, swollen and red streaks can appear on your skin. Your practitioner will treat this problem with antibiotics.

What to do when breasts hurt

  • Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help.
  • A firm bra with good support can help alleviate the pain. You may need to sleep in that bra when your breasts are tender.
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee and chocolate).
  • Vitamin E and B complex vitamins can provide some relief. (400u vitamin E and 200 mg. of vitamin B6).
  • Stress can also bring on more intense breast pain - try some stress reduction techniques.
  • Chart your pain to see if it can be tied to your cycles.

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