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How do you really know how to differentiate between the three? I have been nursing for 4 1/2 years now and had mastitis for the first time 5 months ago. I knew from the flu like symptoms, red spot on my breast and the inability to get out of bed that I had that.
but right now for the past coupld of days 1 breast has been sore but there is no red spot, I have felt sick off and on and I am not sure it is related.

I was thinking mastitis again but not 100% on that. I bring up breast cancer b/c it runs in my family so I have a fear of it. I don't know what to search for in that department. If I have a lump (which I can not really tell) it is really, really large.
We don't have a doc. here yet so I am trying to figure this out as much as I can, on my own.

Thanks in advancefor any insight!
 

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It's unlikely to be breast cancer. Breast cancer almost never hurts! If you're lactating and have a sore breast, some type of infection is almost always the cause.

Home remedies for plugged ducts/mastitis:

Nurse, nurse nurse! As much as possible. Start nursing sessions on the affected breast as often as possible. Point your nursling's chin (best) or nose toward the sore area, as that helps move more milk from that area. Older nurslings think this is hilarious if it means a funny nursing position.

If your child misses a nursing session or only nurses briefly, pump or hand express. Don't let milk sit in the sore breast. Older nurslings are notorious for being irregular nursers - if your child recently went through a spurt of more frequent nursing, then returned to less nursing, you'll be at risk for mastitis.

Massage! Massage before nursing. Massage during nursing. Massage over the sore area to try to break up the plug (if there is one).

Warm, moist heat before nursing or pumping (a rice sock, wet wash cloth, shower, bath. . .). Cold after nursing. Ibuprofen to help w/ the discomfort.

See for more info:
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMarApr07p76.html
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/mastitis.html
http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVMarApr93p19.html

Good luck! It should be better in a few days.
 
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