• Breast Pain

    Breast pain, also referred to as mastalgia or mastodynia, is a common symptom that can occur in one or both breasts and may be caused by any of the following:

    • Hormone fluctuations due to menstruation or pregnancy (more common during the first trimester and
      pregnancy at a younger age)
    • Premenstrual Syndrome
    • Puberty
    • Breastfeeding
    • Approach of menopause
    • Fibrocystic breasts 
    • Mastitis - a blocked and infected milk duct,
      usually associated with breastfeeding
    • Injury to the breast
    • Certain medications

    It is important to know that breast pain is not a common symptom of breast cancer. However, if your symptoms are causing you discomfort or concern, we encourage you to visit the Comprehensive Breast Health Center and learn more about the treatment options that may work best for you. Some of the more commonly prescribed treatments for breast pain include:

    • Wearing a supportive bra
    • Eliminating caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated soda)
    • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil); consult with your health care provider before using
    • Reducing dietary fat (most effective with cyclical pain), nicotine and/or alcohol
    • Using evening primrose oil (a dietary supplement) as well as vitamins E and B6; discuss these options with your Comprehensive Breast Health Center provider before use

    Since every woman is unique and may respond differently to various treatment options, you may need to go through a process of trial and error before discovering what works best for you. Talk with your doctor or the specialists at the Comprehensive Breast Health Center to learn more about treatment for mastalgia.

    Lahey's Comprehensive Breast Health Center is taking part in a clinical trial to help women who meet certain criteria who suffer with breast pain. After an evaluation and preliminary treatment by one of our center providers, some women may qualify for participation.


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  • 2010 Breast Cancer Report

    Learn more about the patient-centered, high-quality approach to breast cancer care provided to patients diagnosed and treated at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.