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Hannah asked...

Pain in my left breast

I have been having pain in my left breast for a couple of months which can be so severe that some days it is uncomfortable to wear a bra. I have been told by my doctor that I can't be referred for a mammogram due to being significantly under the screening age at just 26 years old. I have found no lumps. What should I do now? Thanks

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The answer

Dear Hannah,

Thank you for contacting Health at Hand, I am sorry to read that you have been experiencing severe breast pain. We can understand why this has concerned you.

From your request to have a mammogram, it is likely that you are worried this pain could be breast cancer. If that is your concern then it is important to note that breast pain is very rarely a sign of breast cancer, which we hope you will find reassuring.

The symptoms of breast cancer would also include having a hard lump that does not move, discharge from the nipple, the skin dimpling on the breasts, inverted or sunken nipples, a rash on or around the nipple and a change in there one or both of your breasts.

Some common causes of breast pain are as follows:

  • Injury to the breast
  • Period related hormone changes which produce pain
  • Breast lumps (for which I understand you have none)
  • Abscesses
  • Medication which can cause side effects including breast pain

It is also common to experience breast pain during pregnancy and after childbirth with mastitis.

As you have already see your GP I would hope that they have investigated the potential causes and offered you some reason as why they think this pain has developed along with a management plan for you. However if you are not entirely happy with the outcome of your visit and wish to undergo further investigation, then you could ask your GP to arrange an ultrasound of your breast or a Breast MRI scan.

We think you are absolutely right to pursue this issue until you have peace of mind and hope that the information contained here has helped to reassure you and will further that process.

We wish you every best health in the future.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses