Breast pain (mastalgia) is one of the common breast-related complaints among women. Almost 80% of women experience pain in the breast/axilla during their lifetime. It can be the cyclical mean intensity of pain increases during menses and subsides once its over. It is usually associated with hormone (Oestrogen and progesterone) related water retention in the breast which causes duct distension and pain. Many other factors like body weight, dietary intake etc. also determine the pattern of pain.
Noncyclical pain usually persists throughout the month and bears no relation with the menstrual cycle. This is a less common and can occur due to nonhormonal causes of Neuromuscular pain, ill-fitting inner clothes, poor posture or old trauma to the breast.
Usually mastalgia is not the early symptom of breast cancer, however, examination by a breast surgeon is advisable. He/ She may ask you for breast mammography and few blood tests like TSH, Serum Prolactin etc. based on your clinical diagnosis.
Treatment of mastalgia includes lifestyle modification, weight reduction or treatment of underlying co-morbidities. Various nutrition supplements and hormonal therapies may be prescribed in severe cases.