What causes pain under my armpits

Recognize symptoms early | Does Breast Cancer Hurt?

I have had terrible pain in my right chest for a month. [...] The pain spreads over the armpit to the right arm, it burns, pricks and stings continuously. [...] Does anyone know these symptoms, it doesn't have to be cancer right away, does it? " (a user in the health forum of "lifeline.de")


Does Breast Cancer Hurt? Or to put it the other way round: Can breast pain indicate cancer?

BILD has Prof. Dr. Asked Peter Scheidel, Senior Physician at the Hamburg Mammazentrum at the Jerusalem Hospital.

He says: “Often women suspect breast pain is caused by breast cancer. The diagnosis is usually different. Especially with young women, unclear, non-cycle-dependent (especially premenstrual) chest pain is not uncommon. "

Chest Pain - A Symptom Of Cancer?

Scheidel: “All experiences confirm that pain is not an early symptom of breast cancer. Pain only occurs with advanced tumor growth. Cancer cells are very small at first. Only with increasing size do they grow into healthy tissue and destroy it in the process. As a patient, you don't notice this for a long time. Only a growing tumor can cause pain. "

However, women should always have persistent pain clarified by their gynecologist - "in order to discover and treat other causes of pain as well."

According to the expert, however, the risk of breast cancer without a palpable finding is very small. "Usually an increased sensitivity to pain has hormonal causes and is sometimes associated with a benign change in the mammary gland tissue (mastopathy)."

You should watch out for these symptoms

If you notice a change in your breast during a self-examination, you should always have this clarified by your gynecologist.

You should pay particular attention to the following symptoms:

  • A lumpy hardening in the chest, even if it is painless.
  • Retraction of the nipple with secretions (watery or bloody)
  • Abnormalities of the skin of the breast such as flaking, redness, indentations or other changes (e.g. "orange skin").
  • Changes in breast size or shape, especially if it is one-sided.
  • Swelling in the armpit

► Prof. Scheidel: “There are some signs that can point to cancer and should therefore be clarified (although breast cancer does not always have to be the cause of course). As with many other types of cancer, the same applies to breast cancer: the earlier the disease is discovered, the greater the chance of a cure. "

"No reason to panic

According to the expert, the statement "Breast cancer does not cause pain" is not always correct. Scheidel: “Chest pain is cause for concern, but not a reason to panic. Women should therefore not ignore alarming signals from the body, such as pain, for fear of a possible cancer diagnosis. "