What is mastalgia?

Breast Clinic

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Mastalgia is a medical term for breast pain and is rarely a symptom of a serious disease, however can be debilitating and cause anxiety. The key step in management of breast pain is accurate diagnosis as sometimes neck, muscle and chest wall problems can present a pain in the breast. Mastalgia occurs in two-thirds of women and most commonly in premenopausal women.

Cyclic mastalgia

Cyclic mastalgia is when the breast pain occurs in a regular pattern. This could be due to the menstrual cycle or changes of hormone levels in the body. Women who experience cyclic mastalgia may experience symptoms.

Symptoms of cyclic mastalgia

  • breast pain or heaviness
  • breast swelling or lumpiness
  • commonly affects both breasts
  • pain worsens when approaching menstrual cycle

Non-cyclic mastalgia

Non-cyclic mastalgia is when the breast pain occurs in an irregular pattern. It is not related to the menstrual cycle and usually affects women after their menopause. Women who experience non-cyclic mastalgia may experience symptoms.

Symptoms of non-cyclic mastalgia

  • constant and sometimes intermittent pain
  • light and burning sensation
  • commonly affects one breast
Breast Clinic
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