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.
Dear darleigh: Breast pain is very common and, although it is often cyclical, there are many possible explanations. Most breast cancer is not painful. One question, when the complex cyst was aspirated, did it disappear on ultrasound (like a simple cyst)? Was a specimen sent for analysis (a simple cyst usually is not)? You might discuss this with your breast surgeon for clarification. In addition, you might benefit from discussing your concerns with your breast specialist or a medical breast specialist. Without examination, and review of the mammogram and ultrasounds, we cannot speculate as to the cause of your symptoms.
I could have written this entry myself. I am very frustrated with the constant pain as well. If you have any luck determining what is causing your pain, I'd love to hear what it is. My doctor seems to be content with, "It's not cancer; live with it." I'd like to have something solid to take back to him. "Could it be this....?"
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