What is the cause of left breast pain? There are many possible causes of this symptom – some due to breast problems and some not. When you have pain in your left breast, the first priority is to make sure it is not your heart.
Left Breast Pain: What’s the Origin?
The first step in determining the source of left breast pain is to determine whether your pain originates from your breast or whether it is related to other structures above or below your breast. Sometimes it is difficult to determine, and you should consider both breast and non-breast reasons.
The place where we feel pain will not tell us about a medical problem. Some of the nerves in our body are very specific. For example, a sensitivity to your finger can usually be very accurate.
Other nerves are not specific. They alert you to the normal areas of your body affected by some process, but they do not look for the right area of the problem properly. It is normal to know if the pain you are feeling is in your breast instead of some other structure around your left breast.
Left Breast Pain: Breast Related Causes
Many conditions in the breast can be painful to the left side of the breast alone, including:
- Breast surgery
- Milk duct conditions and infections
- Hormonal causes
Your breasts are covered with sensitive, elastic skin that protects the tubes and lobes for the production of breast milk. Along with nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. If your breasts are injured, you can expect injuries. And the pain that will last until the skin and underlying tissue is healed.
Sometimes an injury to the breast can be treated with scar tissue. And this scar tissue can cause pain (fat necrosis). Fat necrosis may appear as a hard lump as well. Making it difficult to distinguish from breast cancer, even on imaging tests such as a mammogram.
Whether after any type of breast surgery – whether it is an increase, decrease, or re-construction. Your breasts will be damaged as insulin improves and scar tissue develops. And like scar tissue that is associated with injury, pain can come even after your surgery.
Depending on the type of breast surgery, you may feel:
- Burning pain in your nipples.
- Sharp, shooting pain in your breast.
- A painfulness in your breast, shoulders, neck, and back.
- Nerve pain in the chest, chest, arms, or arms (sensations such as burning, cutting, or shock).
Milk Duct Conditions and Infections
Several benign but painful conditions can develop inside your breast milk ducts.
- There may be an abscess under your nipple or areola, causing pain, redness, and heat.
- The milk ducts can freeze and create a firm, soft crust.
- If clogged duct becomes contagious, it can cause mastitis (inflammation of the breast), which causes the breast to swell, tender, hot and red, or ductal ectasia, which can be a soft, sticky discharge of tenderness, irritation, redness, and possibly a thick from the nipple.
- Breast cysts and fibroadenomas can grow and can clog your milk supply or connective tissue, causing pain and soreness.
Hormonal changes can also cause breast tenderness, especially when the levels change during your menstrual cycle or hormones such as oral contraceptives, sterilization treatments, or hormone replacement therapy. The pain can be felt in one or both breasts and to a greater degree in one breast. It can also irritate the armpit.
Hypothyroidism – described by the lower levels of thyroid hormones in the body – can also be associated with hormonal fluctuations and better breast disease that causes breast pain. Graves disease, which is an autoimmune disorder associated with excessive thyroid hormones, is also associated with breast changes that can be painful. The nature of the pain depends on the specific breast change.
Finally, when you find breast lumps or bumps that are not associated with your menstrual cycle or are associated with it. Consult your doctor immediately for clear remedies and proper treatment. When your doctor may be able to make a good guess for a good or bad one, an imaging test and sometimes a biopsy.
Left Sided Breast Cancer
Most of the time – but not always – breast cancer in the early stages is not painful. There are exceptions to this rule, however, especially with cancers such as breast cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer that usually begins with pain in the breast, redness, and swelling. Most people are unable to feel discreet lumps, and cancer often resembles an infection.
Women’s breast cancer is slightly larger on the right side and slightly more on the left side, although it looks the same on both sides of the men. In addition to breast cancer, breast cancer is more likely to be caused by something other than breast cancer, which affects about six percent of women with breast cancer within 90 days of diagnosis.
Non Breast Related Causes
Sometimes it’s hard to say what the pain is, what the pain is, and where the pain is concentrated. When there is a pain in the left side of your chest, you may think it is breast pain, but the pain may actually be below your left breast. Some chest pains that feel like they are in your breasts:
- Chest wall pain
- Esophageal causes
- Lung-related causes
Chest Wall Pain
There are chest wall muscles under your breasts that can become spasms during anxiety and stress, causing pain that can last for a few seconds or several days. Chest wall pain, which is caused by inflammation of the cartilage between the breast and the waist, is called costochondritis.
Chest pain in the chest can be a sharp, stabbing pain. It is more common on the left side but can occur on both sides at or less, only on the right side. It is mild to severe and usually painful to the touch. Pain can irritate your back or abdomen and can get worse when you breathe deeply. Pain can also shoot the arm as well. If you pull the chest muscle or injure the left side of the chest, it can be painful and pains may result.
As your esophagus runs below your left breast, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can sometimes feel like left breast pain. The pain associated with the esophagus may feel like a burning pain, and your mouth may have symptoms like the acidic taste, but not always.
Other digestive tract conditions such as liver disease can sometimes be painful which feels like it is coming from your breast.
Fibromyalgia can cause pain anywhere in your body, and chest pain is not uncommon. It can cause general, widespread pain or intense meditation.
The nature of the pain is dull and painful or can be dull and achy or sharp, stabbing, burning, or tingling. Fibromyalgia pain is not associated with inflammation, redness, or fever. Often, the pain of fibromyalgia worsens by exerting pressure on this area, which is a symptom of tactile allodynia.
Lung Related Causes
Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the air sac in your lungs. Because your lungs are in the chest and behind your breasts, pneumonia can cause pain in the left side which can be wrong for breast pain.
The Pulmonary emboli are the clotting of blood, usually from the arms or legs, which breaks and goes to the lungs. They can also cause pain that feels like it is coming from your breast. Other symptoms include sudden breathing and coughing. Pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Left Breast Pain: Skin Related Causes
Sometimes women experience pain that affects the skin or the outer surface of the breast. It can be shrimp, a condition caused by the re-activity of chickenpox (the varicella-zoster virus) that occurs years or decades after the initial infection.
Initial tenderness is usually followed by a painful stain. Because the pain comes first and the rash is the most recognizable symptom, the shrimp can be difficult to detect quickly.
Left Breast Pain: What Should You Do?
There are many causes of left breast pain, some more serious than others. The only way to find out what is causing your pain is to seek medical attention.
Whether your left breast pain is a little anxious or a big problem like breast cancer or heart attack, it’s important to get an answer to the question of what is causing your pain. Pain is a way to raise awareness about a problem in our body.
If you have seen your doctor but still do not have enough explanation for your pain, call again. If the pain persists you may have to consider getting a second opinion.
Finally, keep in mind that even with an explanation, it is not uncommon to be responsible for more than one process for pain. For example, you may have a normal breast condition such as a chest condition with normal costochondritis. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to receive cancer treatment after an evaluation for incomplete thinking.