Breast reconstruction Breast soreness is very common. It affects most women at some time in their lives. The degree of soreness, and where and how it is felt, differs for each woman. It might be sharp, stabbing, dull, throbbing or aching. It might be felt in all or part of the breasts, one breast or both.
Managing pain Women of all ages report having breast pain, also known as mastalgia. Pain can occur both before and after the menopause. However, breast pain is most common during the reproductive years. Nearly 70 percent of women report breast pain at some point during their lives, but only around 15 percent need medical treatment.
Clearly related to the menstrual cycle Unrelated to the menstrual cycle Described as dull, heavy or aching Described as tight, burning or sore Often accompanied by breast swelling or lumpiness Constant or intermittent Usually affects both breasts, particularly the upper, outer portions, and can radiate to the underarm Usually affects one breast, in a localized area, but may spread more diffusely across the breast Intensifies during the two weeks leading up to the start of your period, then eases up afterward Most likely to affect women after menopause More likely to affect women in their 20s and 30s before menopause as well as women in their 40s who are transitioning to menopause Extramammary breast pain The term "extramammary" means "outside the breast. Pulling a muscle in your chest, for example, can cause pain in your chest wall or rib cage that spreads radiates to your breast. When to see a doctor Make an appointment with your doctor if breast pain: Continues daily for more than a couple of weeks Occurs in one specific area of your breast Seems to be getting worse over time Interferes with daily activities Although breast cancer risk is low in women whose main symptom is breast pain, if your doctor recommends an evaluation, it's important to follow through. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic Causes Sometimes, it's not possible to identify the exact cause of breast pain.