Breast pain, which in medical lingo is called mastalgia, is one of the most common problems affecting women. Nearly 70% of women experience breast pain at some time in their life.
Mastalgia can occur in one or both breasts or in the underarm area. There are two common types of breast pain: cyclical and non-cyclical. Cyclical breast pain, which accounts for nearly 70% of all breast pain, is associated with estrogen and progesterone levels. Cyclical breast pain tends to come and go, as hormones fluctuate during a woman's cycle.
Non-cyclical breast pain, which is less common, is not hormone-related. In contrast, non-cyclical breast pain is more commonly associated with some type of breast trauma.
Although breast pain can be distressing and uncomfortable, it is rarely associated with breast cancer. Dietary and lifestyle modifications can usually correct the problem. If, however, the breast pain persists after these modifications, it is important to have your breasts examined by your healthcare professional.