What might cause pain in only one breast? Scared of "IBC" - help!
October 5, 2013 12:36 PM Subscribe
When I google the fact that I have pain in one of my breasts, I get two things. a) Mastitis, a breast infection associated with breastfeeding, or b) inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that is unusual in that it presents with no lump and pain is a symptom. I don't have the visual characteristics of these -- both those conditions have the same symptoms -- but I can't find any other reasons for my pain online. I've never been pregnant, which would implicate mastitis and now I am worried have cancer. What would cause you to feel like you are PMSing in one breast with it's not time for PMS?
posted by AppleTurnover to health & fitness (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am not looking for a diagnosis. I have seeing a doctor in three days. But I want to stop freaking out and/or have an idea of how pushy I should be when I get to the doctor for additional testing. I am simply wondering what other possibilities there are since mastitis seems very unlikely, and inflammatory breast cancer seems unlikely, but also a super scary possibility. There has to be other explanations, right?
My symptoms: For the past week, my right breast has been tender and sore to the touch -- similar to how both my breasts feel when PMSing. I shouldn't have PMS for another two weeks though and I always PMS in both breasts. My right breast feels a bit fuller and firmer than my left one. It also feels warmer than my left one. I also did a self breast exam and both my breasts feel a bit lumpy, though my right one perhaps a little more so. I have never done a self exam so I'm not familiar with how my breasts should feel. No redness, dimpling, nipple changes, rapid size increase or obvious physical symptoms that indicate it would definitely be either mastitis or inflammatory breast cancer. I also do not have a fever, which seems to be present with mastitis. Overall, it feels like my right breast is PMSing bad.
Here is my question: can a 29-year-old woman who has never been pregnant get mastitis or other benign breast conditions? If so, what other breast conditions COULD cause this? To be honest, I am freaking out and incredibly scared. I didn't sleep at all last night. I've never breastfed, so why would I get something associated with nursing? Is there another possible explanation for these symptoms? It feels like my breast pain is getting worse as time passes. It's been 5 days of this pain. I am seeing a nurse practitioner at my ob/gyn for a clinical breast exam in three days, and that feels too far away. I keep doing all this research online, but it doesn't make any sense that I'd have mastitis. I don't see any other possibilities. And I know inflammatory breast cancer is rare, but I'm really scared.
What else could this be? And do you have any advice for what to do when I see the nurse practitioner to ensure this is investigated fully quickly? If any women out there have experience anything like this and can share their situation, that'd be great. Thanks so much.