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Breast pain, cellulitis, breast abcess, oral contraceptive use, knots in breasts

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 336 Questions
I have been having pain in my left breast and all through my left under arm and there is a knot by my left shoulder blade. I went to see my primary doctor last Wednesday and he did a chest X-ray because the pain originally started in my chest and under my left boob by my rib cage. the x-ray did not show anything except a huge gas bubble. He was concerned because he said, "I have never seen a gas bubble in a girl of your age (22) and your size (118) like that before." So, he ordered a CT scan and we are still waiting to hear back the results. He did a full panel of blood work and all the results came back perfectly normal. I am concerned because the pain is now more in my left breast and underarm and through the back now. It seems to have moved from the original pain in my chest and upper rib cage. I have gasterioritis and am always sick to my stomach but this doesn't feel like heart burn or anything stomach related. My left breast is sensitive to touch and i have a constant back pain in my upper back where the knot it. What could this be? Should i be concerned? My body has felt weak and tired like I'm sick but I don't necessarily "feel bad". What can I do to ease the pain? Do I need to go see my ob-gyn?
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 5 hours later

The causes for sensitivity in your breast could be the following:-

1. Cellulitis - inflammation of the overlying skin of the breast.
2. Breast Abscess - Infection in the lower lobes of the breast.
2. Oral contraceptive use - Lo-ovral - Can cause sensitivity of the breast as well.

The Knot described could be due to a enlarged lymph node associated with the infection in the breast or a secondary abscess.

The best way forward is to undergo a few blood tests and a ultrasound to diagnose the underlying condition. You might consult your current doctor or your OB-GYN for the same. Treatment might include antibiotics and supportive medications for a few days.

In the mean time, NSAIDs like advil or motrin & Ice packs - might be helpful to resolve the pain and discomfort. Use of supporting inner wear might also help.

In case the cause is due to birth control pills, change of the medication to better ones might be helpful.

I hope this helps.

I will be available for any follow up questions that you might be having.
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