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Revealed: That pain in your breasts might not be cancer after all

by , 26 November 2014

With breast cancer rates soaring, any abnormalities you find on your breast might send you into a panic.

And while it's great to be so aware of your risk, stressing about it isn't healthy for you either.

That's why, today, we're revealing eight other reasons behind your breast pain - some you need to have your doctor check, others not.

Here are eight things that cause breast pain – but they’re not cancer

 
Experts say breast cancer rarely causes physical pain in your breasts and that’s why self-examination is essential. It’s one of the only ways to find cancerous lumps. 
 
That’s why breast pain is usually due to another reason. Here are eight alternatives explanations for breast pain:
 
#1. Hormonal changes
 
One of the most common causes of breast pain is hormonal changes, especially when you go through menstruation. 
 
Changes in oestrogen and progesterone cause your milk glands to swell and your breast tissue to retain water. 
 
If the pain doesn’t go away within a few days, consult your doctor. 
 
#2. Inflammation in your ribs
 
Arthritis can develop in the joints between your ribs and breastbone. It can develop as a result of a chest infection or other causes of arthritis
 
Usually, you can relieve the pain with anti-inflammatories. 
 
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#3. Traumatic breast pain
 
Any type of physical trauma can cause breast tissue inflammation and pain. 
 
Women in their 40s and 50s are most likely to experience this if they strain the muscles that support the chest. 
 
It usually resolves itself once the tissue heals.
 
#4. Cysts in the breast tissue
 
50% of women develop benign cysts in their breasts that cause pain along the outside of the breast. The pain is usually at its worst during your menstrual cycle when swollen breasts push on the cysts. 
 
#5. Caffeine overload
 
Too much caffeine can cause breast pain. It causes blood vessels to dilate in the breasts and they swell and become painful. 
 
A Dukes University study found women who cut caffeine from their diet had 61% fewer breast pain episodes. 
 
 
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#6. Your bra
 
If you’re still wearing the same bra you did when you were 20, it could be the reason you have breast pain. 
 
Not only does the change in your body no longer fit your bra, the material is old and probably misshapen and stretched!
 
Get a new one and you’ll feel the difference. 
 
#7. Breast tissue infection
 
Infections can cause pus pockets to form in your breasts. 
 
So if you have red, warm breast along with pain and you have fever and chills, check in with your doctor immediately. 
 
#8. Abscess
 
There’s a rare condition that affects your nipple. An abscess forms underneath it causing discharge from the nipple. 
 
Doctors usually misdiagnose this as breast cancer, but it’s a much more simple fix: Quit smoking and take antibiotics. 
 
Now that you know your breast pain is probably not cancer, you can stress less and fix the actual problem. 
 
And don’t forget to keep physically checking your breast tissue so, if it is cancer, you can have it seen to in its early stages. 
 

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