What do breast pain and swelling indicate in women?
Many women face problems such as breast pain or swelling at some point in their lives. Although this condition is often associated with breast cancer, breast pain and swelling can have many different causes. The most common causes of breast pain and swelling in women are as follows:
One of the most common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, especially seen in women in the 30s, is chest pain and swelling in the breasts. Complaints of breast swelling, tenderness, pain and tension, which begin 3-7 days before the menstrual period, are generally seen in both breasts and are felt mostly in the upper outer part of the breasts. Although the exact cause is not known, the relief of pain during menopause is the best evidence that the complaints are hormonal. In addition, hormone replacement therapy and birth control pill use can also cause breast pain and swelling.
Pain and swelling in the breast are among the symptoms of pregnancy. Pain and swelling are felt more clearly, especially in those who are pregnant for the first time or at a young age. During the first trimester of pregnancy, blood flow increases and breasts grow. With the increase in hormones, the breasts prepare themselves for birth and an increase in pain and swelling is observed during growth.
Every woman who gives birth experiences breast pain, whether she breastfeeds her baby or not. Swelling and pain are observed in the breasts due to increased milk production. However, it is not natural for the pain in the chest to intensify and not go away within a certain period of time. Long-lasting chest swelling and pain may also be caused by chest inflammation.
Inflammation in the Breast
Inflammation that develops as a result of blockage of the milk ducts in the breasts can cause redness and swelling in the breasts. In case of inflammation in the breast, which indicates an infectious disease of viral, bacterial or fungal origin, a doctor should be consulted.
Cyst in Breast
Structures that form inside the breasts and are in the form of fluid-filled sacs are called breast cysts. Cysts, which usually occur when the breast glands enlarge, may be more than one. Cysts that cause pain in the chest are usually benign. The cyst in the breast may grow to a level that can be felt by touch. However, some breast cysts can only be detected through mammography or sonography.
Abscess in the Breast
An inflammatory condition resulting from an infection in the breast tissue may cause pus accumulation in the chest area. Abscess in the breast causes pain and swelling in the breast. Breast abscesses, which are usually caused by bacteria, are felt as soft swellings. Bacteria that spread to the breast tissue through cracks in the nipples cause inflammation in the breast tissue. For abscesses occurring in the chest, a specialist doctor must be consulted and the most appropriate treatment method must be applied.
Although breast pain and swelling are often considered as cancer suspicion by women, pain or swelling is usually not observed in breast cancer. The most important symptom of cancer is the formation of cysts in the breast, which are hard, painless and irregularly shaped. Chest pain is a symptom seen in the final stages of breast cancer.