Periodic complaints of «chest pain» - are a fairly typical symptom for women and extremely subjective, ranging from simple tension of the breast to intense and penetrating pain. According to statistical estimates, 7 out of 10 women have experienced this type of disorder.
Often, many women suffering from such pains are convinced that the breast is affected by a neoplastic process (tumor), although in fact, symptoms can only indicate simple hormonal changes.
Classification of a mammalgia
What, in fact, is breast pain, or mammalgia? Depending on the type of perceived pain, mammalgia is classified into several types.
- The most common form is breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle. Discomfort is repeated with a certain cycle, usually 5 to 10 days before the onset of menstruation. Mammalgia usually affects both breasts, and the pain disappears with the cessation of monthly bleeding.
- Mammalgia associated with rheumatic, bone, or muscle diseases of the chest.
- Tumor-independent pathological chest pain is a very rare form of mammalgia, since tumor processes are usually not associated with a pain symptom.
- Mammalgia associated with herpes zoster: the particular sensitivity of the breast, which manifests itself in these circumstances, is always accompanied by a local painful rash.
How to interpret breast pain?
In the presence of general breast pain, primary self-diagnosis is important in order to expose any pathological disorders in time at the initial stages. It is necessary to clearly determine the duration, intensity, frequency and exact localization of pain.
Self-examination and breast monitoring are two very useful practices for early recognition of possible breast abnormalities.
If breast pain follows a certain rhythm, while the axillary lymph nodes are not enlarged, the shape and size of the glands do not change, then the most obvious interpretation of the symptoms does not cause much anxiety. In this case, there is a hormonal variation of the mammalgia, which is typical of the menstrual period.
Cyclic chest pain tends to occur mainly in women aged 20 to 30 years. Sometimes, even very young girls (14 - 15 years old) can suffer from mammalgia. Cyclic hormonal mammalgia does not affect women who have crossed the border of menopause, however, in this case, breast pains may be of a different nature.
In the long list of disorders characteristic of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), mammalgia is undoubtedly the most annoying and unpleasant symptom. A few days before menstruation, mammalgia can become so severe that even the touch of a bra causes considerable discomfort. Usually, pain begins in the upper chest, gradually progressing to the inside of the arm. Chest pain can be aggravated by jogging, sexual activity, weight lifting.
If tender points are felt in the thickness of the breast that do not disappear with the end of menstruation, the nipple is retracted, yellowish milky discharge is noted, the pains are not regular, the gland undergoes changes in shape and size, then it makes sense to undergo a medical examination as soon as possible.
To begin with, it is recommended to undergo an ultrasound of the mammary glands (from 4 to 14 days from the beginning of menstruation). Then - consultation of the mammologist. You can get qualified help from an experienced specialist at the Bogoliuby Medical Center ». After examination by a mammologist, if necessary, a mammography is prescribed.
Even in the absence of suspicious signs and pain, women are recommended regular mammological examinations, especially after 40 years. Recall that some violations can be completely asymptomatic.