If there is a lump, it's not painful. Although breast cancer is usually painless, it's important not to ignore any signs or symptoms that may be due to breast cancer. Some people may describe pain as a burning sensation and tenderness. Inflammatory breast cancer can cause breast pain that is usually not related to the menstrual cycle.
Along with the pain, you may notice redness, rash, and severe itching. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by menstruation, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. In fact, many people who are diagnosed with breast cancer after a suspicious mammogram are surprised that there is no pain in their breasts, so how could anything be wrong? The sooner breast cancer is found, the sooner treatment can begin and the better your prognosis. However, some men and women detect breast cancer and are diagnosed as a result of a lump detected during a self-exam.
This means that it's also important that you know what your breasts normally look and feel like, so you're aware of any breast changes. If you're concerned about breast changes or pain, trust your instincts and call your healthcare provider. Just as there is a misconception that a painful lump cannot be breast cancer, there are many misunderstandings surrounding breast conditions and their symptoms, as well as breast cancer. Learn more about the reasons, the risks associated with breast self-exams, and why you might want to do them anyway.
For example, changes in breast skin texture may be due to a skin condition such as eczema, and swollen lymph nodes may be due to a breast infection or other unrelated condition. You should visit your doctor if you see or feel anything new or unusual in your breasts during a self-exam. Breast tenderness and risk of breast cancer in the clinical trials of the women's health initiative with estrogen plus progestin and estrogen only. Although back pain isn't usually a symptom of breast cancer, if breast cancer metastasizes (spreads), it can cause back pain.
Even so, it's important to have an experienced health professional check for any mass, lump, or other new changes in the breast so that they can find the cause and treat it, if necessary. Most of the time, breast pain occurs along with the menstrual cycle, but it can also be related to benign non-hormonal causes. In one study, 15% of women experienced breast pain at some point in their lives that interfered with work and family activities. Remember that knowing what to look for is not a substitute for regular breast cancer screening.