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What does pain and tenderness in breast indicate?

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Posted on Tue, 21 Oct 2014
Question: Hello,
Start off by saying I am a 35 year old female. I have had 2 full term pregnancies. One in 1998 and one in 2006. I breastfed both children. After the first child I lost a little nipple sensitivity. And then after the birth of my son who I breast fed for 8 month I lost ALL sensitivity to my breasts. As bothersome as it has been... I have grown to just deal with it.
And now after almost eight years of no feeling, the past three days they have been sore and itchy. The first day they were a little sensitive and have gradually gotten worse to the point if I brush up against something it is painful. My question is would this be a sign of breast cancer? Do both breast hurt if you have breast cancer? I personally wouldn't think so. But that is why I am asking an expert.

Then again, my husband and I do not use any type of contraceptives and he has successfully been using the pull-out method for years. But I also know there is still SOME chance I could still get pregnant. My period is not due to start for another six days. But isn't it a little early IF I were to be pregnant to be experiencing these symptoms? I had a normal cycle last month.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Not likely breast cancer.Pregnancy ?possible

Detailed Answer:
Hello!
Thank you posting your query at HealthcareMagic.

I read carefully your query and understand your concerns.

First of all you don't need to worry about breast cancer.
Breast pain ,tenderness or just sore breasts are not a sign of breast cancer.
Cancer usually is painless and the only symptom is the presence of a lump in the breast noticed when you touch it.

It is very unlikely for breast cancer to cause symptoms in both breasts.
So in your case if you haven't touched any lump when you self-examine your breast or haven't noticed any change in the color,symmetry of the breasts or nipple discharge ,you don't have any reason to think about breast cancer.

Regarding the second question ,a pregnancy is not excluded because you and your husband don't use any method of contraception (beside pull-out method).
This method is effective but not 100% safe because even pre-ejaculation fluid contains sperm cells and you can get pregnant.

If you were pregnant right now ,this could explain your sore and itchy breast.This is an early sign of pregnancy that happens before your periods are late.
Breast tissue is extremely sensitive to hormones.After the egg is fertilized ,progesterone and hCG level is elevated, they increase the blood volume in your breasts, which makes them swell and feel heavier than usual.

So sore breasts is an early pregnancy sign.
In your case ,it is possible for you to be pregnant but you have to wait to see if your periods will come in time.If you have your periods this month ,it means that you are not pregnant.
In this case ,your symptoms of sore,itchy breasts might be due to pre-menstrual syndrome.It is normal to have increased breast sensitivity 1-2 weeks before your periods.

Right now you just need to wait some days and see if your periods will come in time.

Hope it was of help.
Let me know if you have other questions or doubts to clarify.

Kind Regards,
Dr.Rovena Murati
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Rovena Murati (2 hours later)
Do you still think it could be pms symptoms even though I have not a had ANY feeling in my breast in almost 8 years?

It was just very alarming to me since they have been almost numb until a few days ago. But maybe I am lucky and the sensitivity is finally coming back?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (8 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Detailed below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again !

Since the sensitivity is the same in both breasts and if your periods came on time( means you are not pregnant) pre-menstrual syndrome is the only explanation.
In this case the sensitivity in your breasts will be back to normal some days after your periods begin.
It is possible that the sensitivity in your breasts is coming back after years but primary pregnancy should be excluded.

If you are not pregnant and this increased sensitivity on your breasts persist beyond the periods and it get worse,you may consider consulting a physician and get a complete examination of your breasts just to be sure.


Hope it helps.
Take care,
Dr.Rovena
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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What does pain and tenderness in breast indicate?

Brief Answer: Not likely breast cancer.Pregnancy ?possible Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you posting your query at HealthcareMagic. I read carefully your query and understand your concerns. First of all you don't need to worry about breast cancer. Breast pain ,tenderness or just sore breasts are not a sign of breast cancer. Cancer usually is painless and the only symptom is the presence of a lump in the breast noticed when you touch it. It is very unlikely for breast cancer to cause symptoms in both breasts. So in your case if you haven't touched any lump when you self-examine your breast or haven't noticed any change in the color,symmetry of the breasts or nipple discharge ,you don't have any reason to think about breast cancer. Regarding the second question ,a pregnancy is not excluded because you and your husband don't use any method of contraception (beside pull-out method). This method is effective but not 100% safe because even pre-ejaculation fluid contains sperm cells and you can get pregnant. If you were pregnant right now ,this could explain your sore and itchy breast.This is an early sign of pregnancy that happens before your periods are late. Breast tissue is extremely sensitive to hormones.After the egg is fertilized ,progesterone and hCG level is elevated, they increase the blood volume in your breasts, which makes them swell and feel heavier than usual. So sore breasts is an early pregnancy sign. In your case ,it is possible for you to be pregnant but you have to wait to see if your periods will come in time.If you have your periods this month ,it means that you are not pregnant. In this case ,your symptoms of sore,itchy breasts might be due to pre-menstrual syndrome.It is normal to have increased breast sensitivity 1-2 weeks before your periods. Right now you just need to wait some days and see if your periods will come in time. Hope it was of help. Let me know if you have other questions or doubts to clarify. Kind Regards, Dr.Rovena Murati