Many women complain about painful breasts. Sometimes, this pain is enhanced a couple of days before a women is about to get her period, and it is one of the most frequent symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. However, the pain can be very pronounced, sharp, the breasts may be very tender to touch, and often only one of the breasts hurts. When these symptoms combine and become frequent, most of the women are worried about the possibility they might be having a breast tumor or breast cancer. Actually, pain is not a symptom of breast cancer but if a woman feels a lump in the breast, there is a possibility she's having a tumor or some kind of change in the normal breast tissue. The only way to be sure what the lump really is, is to visit a medical office, get tested, and do a biopsy of the tissue. During the biopsy, the cells and the tissue from the breast will be removed and examined under a microscope by pathologist.
Normal breast tissue is a glandular type of tissue. Actually, women's breasts are made of separate lobes of milk-secreting glands, embedded in fatty tissue. Therefore, almost all women develop breast lumps at certain point in their lives. These lumps usually feel different than the surrounding tissue and they can vary in size. If a lump is big, woman will feel it under the skin. Small lumps may be hard to notice, and they will diffuse on their own over time. The reasons behind their formation are various medical causes such as cysts, fibroadenomas, breast abscesses, mammary duct ectasia, mastitis, etc.
Common causes of painful breast tumors
Tumor is a word that is often used as a synonym for cancer. However, this is much broader term that is best described as a solid or fluid-filled lesion that may or may not be be formed by an abnormal growth of neoplastic cells. Therefore, tumors can be benign, malignant, or may not have any cancerous potential.
Breast cysts are common causes of painful breast tumors. These are fluid-filled sacs in the breasts, often painful and unpleasant but in many cases completely benign. These tumors are the most common in pre-menopausal women in their 30's and 40's.
Fibroadenomas are also defined as lumps in the breast, but they are composed of fibrous and glandular tissues. In most of the cases, this tumor is painless, but since it is mobile it can cause some pain, occasionally.
Mastitis is the inflammation of the breast tissue, and it is often associated with a lot of pain. In most of the cases, Staphylococcus aureus causes the mastitis. Symptoms include breast tenderness, swelling of the breasts, high fever, redness of the skin, etc.