Breast Cancer Community
9.42k Members
Avatar universal

breast pain and swellin


I have been experiecing pain mainly at the nipple and areola.  My whole breast has been sore and is very swollen.  I had an ultrasound and mammo.  A mass was found under my nipple.  The doctor said it was not an absess or cyst. I am not pregnant and I have never nursed any of my children.  I am currently 31 years old.  Why was I prescribed antibiotics instead of just doing a biopsy?  
4 Responses
587083 tn?1327123862
Milk ducts can become blocked and inflamed that could result in a condition called mammary duct ectasia, and a breast lump can appear under the nipple.
Even though it's normal to be concerned about a breast lump under the nipple, this condition is not a sign of breast cancer, and doesn't increase your risk of breast cancer.
Hormonal changes in the body, can cause mammary duct ectasia, as well as nicotine from smoking, which causes your milk ducts to widen and become inflamed.  
Other symptoms can include tenderness,breast swelling and redness in the nipple or surrounding area.
To reduce pain and swelling, apply a warm compress to your nipple area. Wear a good support bra and try not to sleep on the side of your affected breast, to minimize swelling and prevent further discomfort.
Sometimes the symptoms may resolve without treatment, but if you have pain or infection,your doctor is right in prescribing a course of antibiotics that you should take,   even if you feel better or your symptoms completely disappear.Mild pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may also be taken for breast discomfort.If antibiotics and home remedies aren't effective, you can have the affected milk duct removed.
However, surgery is rarely needed to resolve mammary duct ectasia.
Hope that this helps and wishing you all the best....
Avatar universal
I greatly appreciate the information.  It sounds very similar.  I think I may be too young for this particular diagnosis.  I am taking the antibiotics. The doctor seems to think they will reduce the swelling and pain and the mass will still be there.  Is it possible to request a biopsy?  Thank you for your help.
587083 tn?1327123862
Hi again,
Of course it's possible to request a biopsy.
Mammograms and ultrasounds can detect a lump and show it's characteristic,but ONLY a biopsy can give a correct diagnosis.
If I were you I would consult a breast specialist to discuss your concern.In the meantime apply warm compresses and take all the antibiotics that your doctor prescribed.Things should improve in a week or so,but if they don't, take your films and your mammogram report  to the breast specialist who will examine you and advise you what steps should  be taken in your particular situation.
Please let us know how things are proceeding.
Take care and good luck.
Avatar universal
I can't thank you enough.  Your encouragement and advice allowed me to get a good nights sleep.  I will update you as the next steps are taken.  Again thank you for taking the time post your advice.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Diet and digestion have more to do with cancer prevention than you may realize
From mammograms to personal hygiene, learn the truth about these deadly breast cancer rumors.
Breast cancer is not an inevitability. From what you eat and drink to how much you exercise, learn what you can do to slash your risk.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.