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Breast pain/discomfort. Is there a kind you can ignore and a kind you shouldn't?

(9 Posts)
Mij Wed 09-Jul-14 23:21:19

When I was breastfeeding (which I did for 7 years) I suffered sporadically from recurring blocked ducts, and one bout of mastitis with DD2. Because towards the end of this period I was always getting blockages in the same place, I went for a scan at the breast clinic, but because I was breastfeeding with all the changes and additional tissue that requires, they said they really couldn't tell if anything else was going on, and I had a 'misbehaving boob'.

I stopped BF about 9 months ago (and it had been at a pretty minimal level for a year or so before then) and in the last perhaps 3 or 4 months, I've been getting pains - sort of tender, not an ache and not a stabby pain - in the breast and the area I was getting the blockages.

I tend to be a bit 'oh I'm sure it's nothing, it'll pass' about most minor ailments, and I'm pretty low risk in terms of major illness: no family history of cancer or heart disease, strokes or anything else etc etc, but is this something you should always check out, or are there specific symptoms that anything more serious would always present?

And yes I've Googled but the non-official stuff tends to be a bit 'one extreme or the other' and the office stuff all says 'go to your doctor' in the same way I'm assuming that NHS pretty much always said 'go to your doctor'.

Any tips for good stuff to read about this?

PacificDogwood Wed 09-Jul-14 23:24:56

Go to your doctor.

Take some Ibuprofen or try Evening Primrose Oil.

There are no specific symptoms that can tell you with any degree of certainty whether it is 'something' cancer or 'nothing' i.e. inflammatory changes from your previous blocked ducts.

So get it checked out by a RL doctor.
Chances are it's nothing serious but nobody here can tell you that.

Mij Thu 10-Jul-14 00:03:20

OK. Thanks.

I should have said that it's not hormone cycle related cos I'm on the pill (and have been on the same one for a couple of years) though I did used to get very tender boobs when I was suffering from the horrendous PMS I now take the pill to reduce!

WhatsGoingOnEh Thu 10-Jul-14 09:09:33

I hope the following post doesn't make you ignore anything important! But I saw an Embarrassing Bodies programme about boobs. A girl went on with v painful boobs and was terrified she had cancer. (She'd had it for ages and was too scared to go to a doctor.)

They had a Boob Specialist woman on there who said that 99.99% causes of boob pain are NOT SINISTER. It's hormones, usually. She said the very bad things that can happen to boobs are usually completely painless.

Please don't drop dead now. hmm

Soveryupset Thu 10-Jul-14 12:13:51

I would go to the GP and get a referral just for peace of mind. I wish I knew the answer to your question as I have had pain for a few weeks now, in the same spot where I used to get blocked ducts too. I go from being fine about it to going into a spin and a panic. I woke up last night and my mind wandered to a very dark scenario!

I dithered for a few weeks before going to the GP, now I wish I'd gone sooner and all this waiting would be over one way or another...

StillProcrastinating Fri 11-Jul-14 14:24:37

I went to the GP 3 times with breast pain. She brushed me off each time, with chat about monthly cycles etc, even though I knew it felt different. 3rd time she literally said, well, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to refer you?

I said yes please ( you horrible woman). Hospital discovered DCIS, I'm fine now post double mastectomy.

Yes, pain in the breast is likely to be fine. But have the confidence to keep asking if you want it checked properly. Registrar at hospital nearly missed it, but sent me upstairs for scans to reassure me. I will forever be indebted to the scan lady, who looked at my ultrasound, couldn't see anything, asked my age (35) , and took me straight for mammogram. Love love love that lady!

Soveryupset Fri 11-Jul-14 14:35:07

StillProcrastinating can I ask you what your pain felt like? I am waiting for my breast clinic appointment (Next Friday) for breast pain too...

StillProcrastinating Fri 11-Jul-14 16:38:13

It was a bit like a bruise, and on close inspection, I discovered something that felt like a grain of sand under the skin. I wonder with hindsight whether that was a patch of microcalcification. (Which again, isn't necessarily a bad thing).

Good luck with your appointment. Breast pain can be a massive range of things, and I'm sure in your case it will be fine. But I don't think it hurts to be certain about these things.

Mij Fri 11-Jul-14 22:32:18

This is really useful everyone, thank you. I think I suffer a bit from my mother's/grandmother's Oh I Don't Want To Be Any Bother Dear syndrome. I always feel a prat if I talk to a dr about anything that turns out to be nothing much. And it's not like I go to the dr about much, not for me or for the DCs. If I can self-care/tough it out, I usually do. Still feel like a timewasting malinger, even if there is something up but there's not much to be done, eg tinnitus getting worse.

Added problem is that, having BF for 7 years, and lost weight last year, I have no real baseline for checking myself. Not really sure what is normal for me any more!

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