Event 1: Introduction to Breast Pain

This module discusses the etiology, epidemiology, and treatments for multiple causes of breast pain.

Breast pain topics covered in this module:

Anatomy and Physiology of Normal Breasts

  • Mastalgia (General Breast Pain)
  • Age Related Breast Pain
  • Child Bearing Breast Pain
  • Benign Breast Disease
  • Cancer Related Breast Disease

Breast Pain Epidemiology

Breast pain is common. It is rarely a symptom of breast cancer.

Breast Pain and Epidemiology
Breast Pain Epidemiology
Mastalgia (general breast pain) Up to 70% of women experience in their life
Cyclic Account for 67% of all breast pain
Cyclic Menopausal ~40% experience cyclic mastalgia during premenopausal
Non Cyclic Less common than cyclic breast pain
Nipple Pain 80%-90% of breastfeeding mothers
Traumatic Nipple 29%-76% of breastfeeding mothers
Nipple pain develop into nipple fissure 26% of breastfeeding mothers
Breastfeeding problems from short frenulum 12.8%-44%
Engorgement 36.6% of women postpartum (1st 2 weeks)
Mastitis and breast abcess 3-33% of breastfeeding women
Physical problems post breast cancer surgery 90% of breast cancer survivors
Post Mastectomy Pain Syndrome  

Mastalgia (Breast Pain)

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Normal Breasts
    • Age Related
      • Menopause
        • Non-Cyclical Pain
        • Cyclical Pain
      • Menstruation
        • Non-Cyclical Pain
        • Cyclical Pain
  • Child Bearing
    • Pain During Pregnancy
    • Lactation
    • Plugged Ducts/Engorgement (can lead to Mastitis)
      • Abscess
    • Sore Nipples
      • Vasopasm / Raynauds Phenomenon
      • Short Frenulum
      • Inefficient Attachment
      • Yeast
  • Benign Disease Related
    • Mastitis
    • Fibrocystic Disease
  • Cancer Related Breast Pain
    • Postmastectomy syndrome (PMPS)/Persistent Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery (PPBCS)

Normal Anatomy of the Breast

Illustration of a breast with normal anatomy
Normal anatomy of the breast

Sharon has Pain with Breastfeeding

Sharon and Diane Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN talk about her pain with breastfeeding.

Shanita Has Mastitis

Shanita and Diane Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN talk about her pain from mastitis.

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