45 doctors weighed in:

Is breast cancer typically painful?

45 doctors weighed in
Dr. Amit Jain
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
11 doctors agree

In brief: No

Almost never as a matter of fact.
Painful breast lump is often from trauma or infection.

In brief: No

Almost never as a matter of fact.
Painful breast lump is often from trauma or infection.
Dr. Amit Jain
Dr. Amit Jain
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Dr. Mark Pack
Surgery
6 doctors agree

In brief: No

Breast cancer typically is not painful.
Early on there is usually no pain. More advanced breast cancer can be painful. Early on the typical finding is a lump or an abnormality on a mammogram.

In brief: No

Breast cancer typically is not painful.
Early on there is usually no pain. More advanced breast cancer can be painful. Early on the typical finding is a lump or an abnormality on a mammogram.
Dr. Mark Pack
Dr. Mark Pack
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Dr. Larry Nichter
Cosmetic Surgery
6 doctors agree

In brief: Breast CA and Pain

Most Breast Cancer is not painful especially at early stages.

In brief: Breast CA and Pain

Most Breast Cancer is not painful especially at early stages.
Dr. Larry Nichter
Dr. Larry Nichter
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Dr. Dariush Vaziri
Breast Surgery
4 doctors agree

In brief: Not necessarily

Many times breast cancer may be present without pain.
On certain situations it may be painful. If you have any reason to suspect breast cancer it is best to have it checked. Although in your age breast cancer is rare but is not unheard of. Don't go only by presence or abscence of the pain.

In brief: Not necessarily

Many times breast cancer may be present without pain.
On certain situations it may be painful. If you have any reason to suspect breast cancer it is best to have it checked. Although in your age breast cancer is rare but is not unheard of. Don't go only by presence or abscence of the pain.
Dr. Dariush Vaziri
Dr. Dariush Vaziri
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Dr. Moshe Lewis
Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: No not typically

and certainly it is very rare in someone as young as you are.
Therefore, you should be worked up thoroughly and diagnosed before jumping to conclusions. Breast cancer is very rare at your age compared to fibrocystic disease.

In brief: No not typically

and certainly it is very rare in someone as young as you are.
Therefore, you should be worked up thoroughly and diagnosed before jumping to conclusions. Breast cancer is very rare at your age compared to fibrocystic disease.
Dr. Moshe Lewis
Dr. Moshe Lewis
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Dr. Amy Levin
Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: No

Breast cancer usually presents as a painless lump in the breast, if not caught early by a screening mammogram.
The effects of advanced breast cancer can be painful, such as bone tumors or breast infection. Breast pain is very unlikely to be cancer. Please get evaluated by a physician if you have breast pain or a lump.

In brief: No

Breast cancer usually presents as a painless lump in the breast, if not caught early by a screening mammogram.
The effects of advanced breast cancer can be painful, such as bone tumors or breast infection. Breast pain is very unlikely to be cancer. Please get evaluated by a physician if you have breast pain or a lump.
Dr. Amy Levin
Dr. Amy Levin
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Dr. Andrea Lundell
Radiology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Breast cancer

The symptoms associated with breast cancer depend on the size.
When breast cancer is small, it usually has no symptoms. The first symptoms may be a new area of thickening or a lump that the patient may feel in the affected breast, typically painless. As the cancer enlarges, the patient may notice skin dimpling, nipple retraction, or a reddish pitted surface of the overlying skin.

In brief: Breast cancer

The symptoms associated with breast cancer depend on the size.
When breast cancer is small, it usually has no symptoms. The first symptoms may be a new area of thickening or a lump that the patient may feel in the affected breast, typically painless. As the cancer enlarges, the patient may notice skin dimpling, nipple retraction, or a reddish pitted surface of the overlying skin.
Dr. Andrea Lundell
Dr. Andrea Lundell
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Dr. Kris Gast
Radiation Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Breast CA&symptoms

Breast CA is usually found on mammogram.
The pt may not even feel anything. Some pts will have a mass or a lump in the breast. Even when breast CA has invaded the skin or a large part of the breast it is usually NOT painful. If your breast is sore it is more likely related to hormones gone "bad"

In brief: Breast CA&symptoms

Breast CA is usually found on mammogram.
The pt may not even feel anything. Some pts will have a mass or a lump in the breast. Even when breast CA has invaded the skin or a large part of the breast it is usually NOT painful. If your breast is sore it is more likely related to hormones gone "bad"
Dr. Kris Gast
Dr. Kris Gast
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2 doctors agree

In brief: Typically not

There are many more causes of breast pain that are more common than cancer.
Having said that, cancer can cause breast pain in certain circumstances. Your doctor can help evaluate and treat the cause of breast pain.

In brief: Typically not

There are many more causes of breast pain that are more common than cancer.
Having said that, cancer can cause breast pain in certain circumstances. Your doctor can help evaluate and treat the cause of breast pain.
Dr. Mark Dickson
Dr. Mark Dickson
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Dr. Liawaty Ho
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Typically not

pain is not a common presenting symptom of breast cancer.
Only about 4% of breast cancer are presented with breast pain- majority are presented with abnormal mammogram , or palpable mass.

In brief: Typically not

pain is not a common presenting symptom of breast cancer.
Only about 4% of breast cancer are presented with breast pain- majority are presented with abnormal mammogram , or palpable mass.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Dr. Liawaty Ho
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Dr. Erik Borncamp
Wound care
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

That's the problem. If it was painful we could just wait for symptoms to take it out.
The majority of breast cancers grow silently inside the breast for years without pain. That's why we need mammograms -- to detect the silent ones .

In brief: No

That's the problem. If it was painful we could just wait for symptoms to take it out.
The majority of breast cancers grow silently inside the breast for years without pain. That's why we need mammograms -- to detect the silent ones .
Dr. Erik Borncamp
Dr. Erik Borncamp
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Dr.
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Breast cancer

Most patients present having found a painless lump in the breast.
Other symptoms include a lump under the arm, lump in other regional lymph nodes and with retraction or inversion of the nipple. Metastases may cause pain in bones or even pathological fractures. Involvement of skin can sometimes cause pain. http://patient.info/doctor/breast-cancer-pro

In brief: Breast cancer

Most patients present having found a painless lump in the breast.
Other symptoms include a lump under the arm, lump in other regional lymph nodes and with retraction or inversion of the nipple. Metastases may cause pain in bones or even pathological fractures. Involvement of skin can sometimes cause pain. http://patient.info/doctor/breast-cancer-pro
Dr.
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Dr. Devon Webster
Internal Medicine - Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Usually not, but...

Most breast cancers are not painful, with some exceptions.
A rare type of breast cancer can be very painful. This is called inflammatory breast cancer (ibc). Many doctors aren't aware of ibc, so it's important you know about it! if you develop severe pain, redness, swelling, bruising, or dimpling in your breast or armpit area, see a doctor immediately! and ask "could this be ibc?".

In brief: Usually not, but...

Most breast cancers are not painful, with some exceptions.
A rare type of breast cancer can be very painful. This is called inflammatory breast cancer (ibc). Many doctors aren't aware of ibc, so it's important you know about it! if you develop severe pain, redness, swelling, bruising, or dimpling in your breast or armpit area, see a doctor immediately! and ask "could this be ibc?".
Dr. Devon Webster
Dr. Devon Webster
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Dr. Winnie Polen
Breast Surgery

In brief: No

Breast cancer is typically NOT painful.
Breast cancer does not usually cause a constant, sharp pain in the area of the mass. However, if the breast cancer is not detected until it is larger (over 2 cm) then the mass may cause some heaviness or pinching sensation in the area.

In brief: No

Breast cancer is typically NOT painful.
Breast cancer does not usually cause a constant, sharp pain in the area of the mass. However, if the breast cancer is not detected until it is larger (over 2 cm) then the mass may cause some heaviness or pinching sensation in the area.
Dr. Winnie Polen
Dr. Winnie Polen
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In brief: Typically it is

not, it can be painful.
It is not a reliable symptom for either benign or malignant process.

In brief: Typically it is

not, it can be painful.
It is not a reliable symptom for either benign or malignant process.
Dr. Robert Uyeda
Dr. Robert Uyeda
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Dr. Lewis Hassell
Pathology

In brief: Cancer pain

Most cancers do not cause pain at an early stage.
It is usually only when they involve vital structures, or interfer with weight bearing bones that pain becomes significant. Inflammation, however, often causes pain, and if the cancer evokes inflammation it may be painful. Breast cancer is usually not at all painful when first developing, but may be when it has spread to other areas of the body.

In brief: Cancer pain

Most cancers do not cause pain at an early stage.
It is usually only when they involve vital structures, or interfer with weight bearing bones that pain becomes significant. Inflammation, however, often causes pain, and if the cancer evokes inflammation it may be painful. Breast cancer is usually not at all painful when first developing, but may be when it has spread to other areas of the body.
Dr. Lewis Hassell
Dr. Lewis Hassell
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Dr. Myron Arlen
Surgery - Oncology

In brief: Rare to happen

Today, the majority of breast canceres are defined by mammographic screening.
As such there is no clinical evicence of disease and no lesion is palpable. Even before mammo when patients were seen with 5-7 cm. lesions, there was no associated pain. When patients present with a painful area in the breast it is due to fibrocystic disease where fluid expansion of the duct system results in pain.

In brief: Rare to happen

Today, the majority of breast canceres are defined by mammographic screening.
As such there is no clinical evicence of disease and no lesion is palpable. Even before mammo when patients were seen with 5-7 cm. lesions, there was no associated pain. When patients present with a painful area in the breast it is due to fibrocystic disease where fluid expansion of the duct system results in pain.
Dr. Myron Arlen
Dr. Myron Arlen
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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology

In brief: No

Breast cancers very seldom hurt or are even uncomfortable until they have spread extensively, especially to bone or hollow organs.

In brief: No

Breast cancers very seldom hurt or are even uncomfortable until they have spread extensively, especially to bone or hollow organs.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
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Dr. Eric Brown
Breast Surgery

In brief: In a word, no

I would not use whether or not pain is present, to decide when to work up a new breast finding.
Some cancers can be tender or painful. When a new finding has been present for more than a week, or is getting worse, it is safest to see a physician for an evaluation.

In brief: In a word, no

I would not use whether or not pain is present, to decide when to work up a new breast finding.
Some cancers can be tender or painful. When a new finding has been present for more than a week, or is getting worse, it is safest to see a physician for an evaluation.
Dr. Eric Brown
Dr. Eric Brown
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