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Breast/ Underarm Pain
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Breast/ Underarm Pain

Hello,
I'm so happy I found this site. I am 28 years old and last Spring I noticed that my right breast has swollen and is very sensitive on the far right side. It hurts to the touch. I went to my doctor here in the Netherlands and I later received a mammogram and then an ultrasound because they said my tissue was too fiberous to see anything with the mamo. The tests came back negative and I haven't heard anything else from my doctor. However the pain and the breast swelling are still there and now (for the past 5 months) I am also experiencing a sharp, stinging shooting pain that goes from underneath my arm to my elbow. It almost feels like a pinched nerve but there is also itching underneath my armpit. This is all only under my right arm. I have searched everywhere to see what it could be without much luck. I am concerned that it could be a cancer in the lymphnode. Is there any other viable explanation? What should I expect my doctor to do when I go back to him in terms of tests?
Thanks for your help!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear serafina:  A swollen and painful breast is not necessarily cancer.  Particularly since all tests to date are negative.  You might ask your doctor whether there is a possibility that your breast is infected.  Otherwise, breast examination, mammography and ultrasound may be the only tests in the absence of any additional worsening symptoms.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Pain such as you describe is more likely due to something other than cancer; in particular, you are at an age when some women start getting "fibrocystic changes" in the breast, where fluid builds up in the ducts and glands and causes discomfort. Pain radiating to the underarm from the breast is pretty common. Some things that help the pain of fibrocystic breasts is eliminating caffeine, taking vitamin E, wearing good support, even at night. It's typical for a mammogram to be not useful at your age. It sounds like the best choice at this point will be to keep an eye on things: have another physical exam in a couple of months, and be in the habit of examining yourself monthly, right after your period ends. If one area remains of concern, a biopsy could be done: but if pain is the only issue, and there is no lump, it's pretty unlikely to find anything.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the feedback. My worry was the underarm specifically because my mother's older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 40 (and childless) that started above her breast in the area between the breast and her underarm.

Is the condition that you describe - with the pain resonating into the arm - usually limited to one breast/ one side? Also: I am planning on getting pregnant in the coming 6 months, and with the pain I have now, I am afraid once my breasts get larger that I will be in excrutiating pain. Is there a chance that the symptoms would lessen with pregnancy?

Sorry to be so worried.


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Avatar_n_tn
symptoms of fibrocystic changes can indeed be felt in one breast more than the other. As to pregnancy, it's hard to predict: it might get worse, could also get better. One thing about pregnancy is that it makes it much harder to evaluate breasts, so be sure you and your doctor have a plan for keeping an eye on things.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can sympathize with what you are going thru.  I am a 40-year old that had some abnormalities in a mammogram.  I also have been having pain in my left breast for 7 months and it has not gotten any better.  I have had two sterotactic biopsies and a needle localizaiton biopsy and thank god everything has come back negative for cancer, all tests confirm it is just fibrocystic.  TI don't have any lumps, just a lot of fibrous tissue that us very hard and leathery according to my surgeon.  He has suggested hormone therapy, but I'm not so sure about doing that.  I am going to try Vitamin E, I've heard alot about that helping.  Good luck, but what you have sounds very similar to mine, so it is nothing to worry about.
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Avatar_n_tn
About 2 years ago, I had a mammogram and ultrasound, and I was told that I had 9 cysts in my left breast, and that one was as big as the rest put together.  After seeing a surgeon, he said it didn't seem to be anything to be concerned about, just keep an eye on it.

Last year, I was having a sharp pain that seemed to radiate from the far outer side of my left breast, and go to my armpit, sometimes down th arm.  There is also an area that is numb, about the size of a golfball, at the junction of the armpit and the fleshy area at the top corner of the breast.  My doctor couldn't find an explanation, and suggested I see a neurologist, who told me that I had a bulging disc in my neck, and that was probably causing the pain and numbness.

I'm 47 years old, and starting to experience some changes - the occasional night sweat, and my menstrual cycle skips a beat every 5 months or so.  I went 70 days this last time, and the cyst (or whatever it is) feels like it has grown to about the size of a hard-boiled egg.

I have an appointment in a week to see another surgeon, and after reading your comments feel much more enlightened (and less frightened).

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Avatar_n_tn
just wondering if newtsmom had results back from scheduled mammo yet. I am experiencing almost identical situation so I am very curious.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can relate somewhat to what you are saying.  I have been experiencing a dull pressure in my armpit that comes and goes.  I then get a tingling feeling all the way down my arm and into my fingers.  So far, I haven't noticed a lump.  I've been to the doctor.  She says infection, but it comes and goes every few weeks or so, so that doesn't seem right.  Does anyone have any idea what this could be?
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Avatar_n_tn
I also had breast pain and lumps under my arm.  My mammagram turned out to be good, so my doctor told me to get off caffine and start taking vitamin E.  It was hard to get off of iced tea and Dr Pepper. LOL.  Now I have started wearing a good (loose)
support bra when I go to bed and no more pain.  I can now drink a moderate amount of caffine occasionally without any pain at all.
I love this site too.
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A related discussion, Pain in right breast was started.
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