One can relate pain under left breast mostly to breast cancer, heart attack or an infection. Whatsoever the assumptions be, it is true that breast pain can cause panic for obvious reason that it is very close to heart.
Possible causes of pain
Breast injury or surgery: If you have had any breast injury in the past then it is most likely that you develop some bruising along with the pain that would last till underlying tissues and skin gets healed up. Also if you have undergone any type of breast surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction, reduction or cosmetic, your breast will pain probably because of incisions and scar tissues developed from surgery. So if you have also undergone any form of breast surgery, make sure that you ask your doctor the ways to cope up with this pain.
Problem in breast milk system: This is another reason why women develop pain in their breast. Clogging or infection of milk ducts can result in abscess and can also cause left breast to pain. Breast milk system can also be affected when cysts and fibroadenomas grow causing pain in the breast.
Pain due to breast muscles: Conditions such as stress and anxiety can cause spasm in chest wall muscles which results in pain under breasts. The pain can also be caused due to tensed wall muscles on either of the breasts. Also in case if the breasts muscles are pulled, then also you may experience pain.
Heart: Since heart is below the left breast so anyone who has pain in heart can mistake it with the breast pain. Conditions pertaining to heart such as heartburn, pressure, squeezing, coronary heart disease etc. can give you a feeling of pain in breast. GERD i.e. gastro esophageal reflux disease and hiatal hernia are also known to cause similar conditions.
Pain due to bones: Sternum, a breastbone, with costochondritis is a common cause of pain under left breast particularly when there is an inflammation in bones and cartilage. Fibromyalgia is a condition affecting connective tissues, muscles and joints that cause pain. Generally women with fibromyalgia also experience fibrocystic breast changes.
It is also to be mentioned that women with hypothyroidism which is a thyroid disorder may experience tenderness in breast particularly when there’s a change in hormone levels at the time of menopause, menstrual cycle. Chest pain can also be caused by intake of Synthroid which is a drug used to treat hypothyroidism. The good part of having hypothyroidism is that it reduces the chances of developing breast cancer.
Cyclical breast pain: Cyclical breast pain among women is because breast tissues of these women are more sensitive to hormonal changes which occur normally every month. This condition is not related to any disease or breast problem but can be irritating sometimes. This problem usually settles on its own within 6 months but for some women breast pain may return.
Non-cyclical breast pain: As the name suggests, this persists for time and doesn’t occur in intervals. It occurs mostly among women above 40 years of age. The pain can occur in either of the breasts or in both of them. The most common causes of non-cyclical breast pain are pain in breast tissue, pain rising from chest wall, infection, breast tumors, lumps, shingles, cancer etc.
Breast cancer: Most of the women having breast pain often relate it to breast cancer. But women should know that the first symptom of breast cancer is not the pain but only the lump. Having breast pain does not necessarily mean you have cancer but you should definitely see your doctor.