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Have breast discomfort, chest tightness with deep breaths, pain in armpit and shoulder. Any treatment?

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Practicing since : 1999
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Hi my left breast is extremely tender along with a tight feeling in the left side of my chest when I breath. My shoulder aches constantly with a tingling sensation down my left arm. I can't feel any lumps but when lifting with my left arm it causes pain in my armpit area. My shoulder has always caused my problems and my left breast usually is extremely tender around being due for my menstrual cycle but ceases once it has commenced. This current problem I have had for approx 2 weeks and my cycle has completed. My breast doesn't appear to be different in appearance but has a slight burning sensation. thanks
Posted Sun, 25 Nov 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 2 hours later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

So you are describing 2 weeks of breast discomfort, chest tightness with XXXXXXX breaths, pain in the armpit area, and shoulder pain with tingling in the left arm.

As you have already concluded, this does not sound like it is related to your cycle at all, especially given that it involves only one side.

This is a concern in terms of the possible causes:
1. Breast disease - hopefully you have had a recent mammogram
2. Chest wall disease - possibly costochondritis (inflammation in the chest wall)
3. Lung disease - related to the pain with XXXXXXX breathing
4. Nerve disease or impingement - tingling and discomfort with moving of the left arm
5. Heart disease - you can have pain referred to the left side and arm

This requires relatively immediate attention. Given that it has been present for 2 weeks makes it less urgent, but you need a complete exam, breast exam, chest xray, EKG of your heart, and a discussion of etiologies. A direct exam is critical. Consider calling your doctor tonight. If the pain is worsening over the last 2 weeks, then a trip to the ER now is indicated.

I hope this helps. Please ask if you have any additional questions!
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Follow-up: Have breast discomfort, chest tightness with deep breaths, pain in armpit and shoulder. Any treatment? 1 hour later
Thanks kindly for your response. In searching for answers I should have mentioned that when I lift my breast, it does "assist" in relieving the pain of breathing but doesn't remove the other problems.
I looked "costochondritis" - I did have a car accident 2 years ago and sustained minor damage to my heart, so that may well be the answer?? Although since recovery of my accident I haven't had any problems with my chest.
I haven't had a mammogram - in Australia women often find it hard to be given a referral unless you are in the 50+ age.
Thankyou very much for your assistance. I work as a medical reception, but wasn't overly keen to question my colleque with out reasonable cause & thought the problem would subside. I feel a little more at ease now asking my "friend/doctor" to check out my breasts! Thankyou
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 44 minutes later
Yes please do that. Also, do what you can to get a mammogram!!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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