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Avatar universal

Breast and underarm pain, itching, burning

I'm a 43 y/o with history of fibrocystic disease.  Five months ago my 2/y/o accidentally kicked me in the underside of my left breast.  A week later I started having let-down feelings (wasn't nursing) and tingling/burning of the nipple in that breast.  Went for my first mammogram; results were BIRADS II with scattered benign-appearing microcalcifications; "dense tissue limits sensitivity".  Immediately after mammo. started having the following additional symptoms in the left breast:  burning, shooting pains behind nipple, let down feeling, itchy nipple, and also itching, tingling, burning and pain of left underarm area.  All symptoms come and go throughout the day and are worse some days than others.  Sometimes even have discomfort down my left side along rib cage and it's uncomfortable to sleep on my left side.  Assumed all symptoms were connected to the injury but became concerned when they didn't improve, so had an exam by my OB in December.  She found nothing.  Waited another month, then saw a breast surgeon at the local teaching hospital.  She also did a CBE and said she didn't feel anything.  When symptoms continued I went back to teaching hospital 2 months later and asked for an ultrasound.  Results were several simple cysts and a complex cyst near the breast underside: BIRADS IV.  That cyst was aspirated and was not bloody; no follow-up was suggested.  They briefly scanned my underarm and said nothing looked remarkable.

The procedure was 3 weeks ago and there's no improvement.  I could definitely live with all the symptoms (annoying but not excruciating) but I'm having trouble just accepting that this is nothing and I should ignore it.  If it's stress or hormones, why is it just on the left side?  And why so much underarm involvement?  What else could this possibly be if not cancer?  I'm not sure what to do next at this point, and would GREATLY appreciate any suggestions.  
7 Responses
Avatar universal
One year ago I started having pain on my left side, under my left breast, behind the front of my rib cage.  Also under my L shoulder blade.  As there is nothing of anatomical importance really there, except for maybe the esophagus, my doctor prescribed Protonix for an ulcer and said that the intercostal area (tissue between ribs) was probably inflamed. No results.

It's no better.  Lately, I can barely wear a bra. It's at the point where I cannot stand the burning and pinching chest pain at the upper left quadrant of my breast to the nipple and under the left side of my breast.   Perhaps it is from the underwire and the bra band.  It hurts-almost like some lymph glands are inflamed. No lumps like I was "taught" to look for.

I also have had fibrocystic breasts for ever.  I have just turned 50 and everything seems to really be going to pot!  Ha.  I haven't had my period for 2 1/2 months and I feel like you describe: severe burning, stabbing like pain, I also have more denseness in my left breast-more than my usual fibrotic cycles.

I noted some nipple discharge from both breasts too (like breast milk) when I was poking around and was told it was probably the menopausal hormone changes.

After Mrs. Edwards suffered her broken rib and doctors found mets in her ribs, I have been really freaked that all these symptoms together might be metastatic breast cancer.  Today my breast hurt so bad that I was compelled to search the net and found your post.  

I also read that bras take quite a toll on the breast by preventing lympatic drainage.  In China, women massage their breasts to increase lymphatic flow. Who knew?  I found a breast massage technique on this site in another post.  Try lymphatic massage?  Google: Doctor David Williams breast massage.  I did try it and it seriously reduced my pain today, although "pumping" during this strange massage hurt like crazy... Once I got to my armpit on both sides, I nearly hit the roof!  Maybe there IS something to this lack of lymphatic drainage???  

I still have the rib pain though and despite my fears (my mom died of breast cancer at age 54)  I need to get my butt in to the doctor.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for your message.  Sorry to hear you're having symptoms, and hope you do follow-up and get it checked out (and that you have better luck than me getting a diagnosis).  I posted my question on another site as well and the nurse responded that I should get a second opinion.  Since I thought I'd already gone to the "best" in town, I'm not sure where that will be yet . . . I appreciated the link about the breast massage and I printed it out.  It does sound a little offbeat, but I don't see what it would hurt to try.  Keep me posted on your situation.
Avatar universal
What you describe sounds like the nerve pain I've had since my core needle biopsy in Jan.  The Dr. literally "hit a nerve" while injecting the anesthesia (on the underside of my breast) and I have had all the symptoms you mention (with more intensity, especially right at the beginning, and "moving" to my underarm and around my ribs).  There doesn't seem to be much consensus among the Drs I've seen on how long nerve damage takes to heal.  It's going on 5 months now and I'm still on medication and restricted in what I can do physically - very frustrating. Sounds like you find it interferes with your sleep - which can be the worst time to deal with the discomfort - I found Topamax taken at night (by trial & error) to help make things tolerable during the day.  The more of a "lid" you can keep on it, the better chance you have of seeing it settle down and go away.  I would press the breast surgeon to 1.) be sure you're 100% cleared of cancer and if so,  2.) are treated for the continuing pain (she should be familiar with neuropathy since mastectomy patients sometimes experience it).
Good luck.
Avatar universal
I am worried I went to the mamogram nd unltra sound on wed. The wait is killimb me. I have right arm pain under arm that i have neverd hurt before and a few more lumps in breast. IN april i has a breast asperation and they didnt check the fulid cause it didnt look bad they said :> I hought they had to have it checked i am so worried
Avatar universal
i am 36 years old about one year ago i delevoped pain in left breast that was uncomfortable when puting bra on and off.it sort of tingled and is slightly itching every now and then.it seems to come and go .i am terrifed to go to doctor as i dont seem to have much luck.but i am guessing it hopefully is not that serious as the pain seems to be going away as well as the other conditions.i have noticed my diet makes it worse so it could be fiborcystic breats and you may well have that also.i am just geting over emergency surgery with eptopic preganancy and i had septicema 2 years ago.so wonder i am terrifed.hope we find our answers can anyone help me.annamarie
Avatar universal
I have recently been to my doctor due to having and itchy nipple (I have an inverted left nipple and have had thi as long as I can remember). The doctor has given me some cream to help and said to go back if the itching doesn't stop. The itching comes and goes and also today I have left some sharp shooting pains, I also have aches in my left arm and back also and I am really worried and it is making me horrible to all my family.
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