Breast Health

The most common reason women seek medical consultation for breast symptoms is for breast lumps or cysts, and approximately half of all women who go to doctors go because they have some kind of breast pain. Breast pain that comes and goes depending on the menstrual cycle is usually caused by excess hormonal stimulation of the breast from excessive estrogen, excessive caffeine intake, or even chronic stress. It is not a risk factor for cancer. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver meridian links with the breast, and the entire breast region is strongly influenced by the liver. If the liver qi becomes congested in the breast region, there will be pain, distention and even masses, all of which may fluctuate with the menstrual cycle, being most pronounced in the days immediately prior to menstruation. In TCM terms, emotions are by far the most important (if not the only) cause of liver qi congestion. A state of frustration, irritation, repressed anger or resentment over a long period of time can cause the circulation to be impeded so that qi does not flow smoothly and it becomes stuck resulting in liver qi congestion.

The link between mild breast pain and breast cancer is very low, and the majority of breast lumps are benign. But, of course, it is always recommended that a woman see her physician or gynecologist if she is having significant breast pain to determine if a lump is benign or malignant. It is nearly impossible to distinguish a benign from a malignant breast lump simply from palpation (manual inspection). Your doctor can give you a complete breast examination and general health work-up. Once it has been determined that a breast condition is benign, a woman can take steps to alleviate or reduce those symptoms with natural measures, such as: