Pain under the right breast radiating to the back can be alarming and nerve wracking, especially for women who believe that it’s an early sign of cancer or lung disease. Fortunately, most chest pains in this area aren’t serious and usually result from muscle strains or other minor injuries. Changes in hormonal levels, menstrual cycles, and certain illnesses can also cause breast pain.
Depending on the type of injury, over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the pain from a strain. For example, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce swelling and pain. Additionally, icing the chest for up to 20 minutes several times throughout the day can reduce discomfort as well.
Stress may also contribute to this type of pain, as it causes the muscles to tense and can affect the digestive system. Similarly, anxiety attacks can result in sharp pains that feel like they’re being sucked into the lungs and often mimic the sensation of a heart attack.
Other illnesses such as fibromyalgia, gallstones/kidney stones, a hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, or pleurisy can also lead to pain under the right breast. To identify these conditions, it’s important to reflect on activities that occurred around when the pain began and note any other symptoms you might have.
If the pain comes and goes, it’s important to see a doctor because this may be a symptom of an infection or chest inflammation that requires treatment. For example, pleurisy is a painful inflammation of the thin membrane that separates the lungs from the chest cavity and can be triggered by coughing or deep breathing.