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Does Itchy Breast Mean Cancer?

does itchy breast mean cancer

There’s the expression ‘every itch needs scratching’, and that can be true no matter where on your body that itching is occurring. But for some women having itchy breasts makes them wonder if they have early signs of breast cancer. A large concentration of lymph nodes are found in the underarm area of the human body, and of course that’s quite close to the chest. So it is fair to wonder around does itchy breast mean cancer, but the answer is that an itchy breast does not indicate breast cancer.

What is more likely is that you have pruritus, which is the clinical term for chronic itching and something that can occur anywhere on the body. Pruritus can be long lasting, and if you are experiencing pruritus on the breasts you may find yourself scratching them incessantly. This can be something of a show for coworkers or passersby in public, so it is not something women will want to be doing. OTC anti itch lotions like the classic Gold Bond work very well to stop skin itching.

Itchy skin on or around breasts related to pruritus can also have other causes, including dry skin, atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, or it may be related to a nerve disorder. A nerve disorder can be a cause for more serious concern for sure, but does itchy breast mean cancer? Very unlikely, although it may be inflammatory breast cancer if they itching is accompanied by burning sensation and / or pain.

In that instance if you believe the breast cancer and itching may have a connection you’re encouraged to see a doctor as soon as possible.

More Likely Causes

The reason that women have bigger breasts than men do is because of the mammary glands inside them, and they exist for a very specific purpose – to nourish infants with breast milk and it’s something that was extremely important to all of us when we were new to the world. Breastfeeding certainly is important, and sometimes itchy breasts when breastfeeding will be because of mastitis. This inflammatory condition is usually the result of hyperlactation, when a woman is producing too much breast milk.

This condition can occur even when not breastfeeding, but fortunately it is fairly easily taken care of with antibiotics like Dicloxacillin. Hormonal change or even yeast infections can be the cause of itchy breasts, but does itchy breast mean cancer? Not likely, but it is best to have a breast cancer screening every few years anyways. And especially if you are over 40, and it is a myth that having smaller breasts means you are less at risk for breast cancer. Even if you have an entirely ectomorphic body type or you are as mesomorphic as can be, you should still have your screenings done.

The last thing to mention with breast cancer and itching is that inflammatory breast cancer does tend to affect women of younger ages more than other types of breast cancer. So again, be proactive in getting your breast cancer screening.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.