Dear Briane, Breast pain is a common breast symptom. The reason for breast pain is not always clearly understood. Breast pain is not usually associated with breast cancer.
Breast pain is sometimes associated with hormonal variations and is then called cyclical breast pain. Noncyclical breast pain does not seem to be linked to hormonal variations and is often localized to one area of the breast tissue. Noncyclical breast pain may or may not be the result of an injury to the breast.
There is another category of discomfort in the chest, not related to the breast, that can give symptoms of breast pain. Inflammation of the cartilage that connects the breast bone to the rib cage can also cause breast pain.
Breast pain is first evaluated by a complete history of the breast pain. Further testing is determined by the physical examination and history given. And recommendations for treatment are based on the evaluation results. Having the mammogram is one more piece of the picture that may help in determining the cause.
If no obvious condition is found to explain the breast pain the following are some suggestions for relief of discomfort. Simple comfort measures such as; a supportive or exercise bra (this may provide support for the ligaments that suspend your breasts). Application of warm or cold packs (experiment to see if either of these helps to soothe your pain). Over-the-counter pain relievers may help. Dietary recommendations such as caffein avoidance (foods that contain caffeine include chocolate, cola beverages, tea, coffee and Mountain Dew, check labels), limit salt intake, reduce fat. Nutritional supplementation using oil of evening primrose (a rich source of essential fatty acids. It has been found to be helpful to some women. It may take several months for improvement. Health food stores carry this product.) Vitamins such as Vitamin E (800 IU daily) and B6 (200mg daily) have also been used in the treatment of breast pain.