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Topic: Anyone had breast cellulitis turn into IBC?

Forum: IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer) —

Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IBC. Posting pictures of symptoms is prohibited per our Community Rules -- you are encouraged to seek medical advice from your doctor in the event of any concerns.

Posted on: Aug 24, 2020 02:53PM

Eigna wrote:

Hi ! I’m posting to wonder if anyone had a breast cellulitis that turned into IBC? I was diagnosed with breast cellulitis 8 days ago. I’m taking antibiotics. Redness and swelling has subsided but warmth is still present. My breast is a bit sensitive. Please note my treatments finished four months ago. I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow but just wondering if anyone with similar experience. Thanks.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 24, 2020 05:04PM MinusTwo wrote:

No - I think this very unlikely. As I posted on your other threads, cellulitis is often tied to lymphadema. I do hope your doc has some experience with LE and you can get base measurements. LE can be caused by surgery OR radiation.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Aug 24, 2020 05:26PM Eigna wrote:

Minustwo - ok question: lymphedema on the breast, will it happen anywhere on the breast or where the incision took place? Cuz mine is no where the incision took place. It’s on the opposite side of the incision. Yes I hope my doctor has some good answers for me tomorrow. I will keep you posted. Thanks.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 24, 2020 05:31PM MinusTwo wrote:

LE has nothing to do with incisions. You can have it in your breast, your trunk, your arms, your hands - and for that matter your legs. I think I posted this link before, but here it is again. And note: most doctors have a total of 15 minutes of education/training about lymphadema in their 7-12 years of medical school - so most don't really know many details. That's why you need a referral to a certified, trained LEPT. Check out the link.

https://www.stepup-speakout.org/


2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Aug 24, 2020 08:08PM Eigna wrote:

ok minustwo .. i went and checked the site. I’m starting to get convinced I have Breast lymphedema. My back too is a bit swollen. I’m pretty sure my hospital has a certified LE therapist. I remember the nurse talking about this at the beginning of my treatments. Will see what the doctor will say tomorrow. Will keep you posted. Thanks.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 24, 2020 08:28PM MinusTwo wrote:

good luck eigna. That is what I have - breast & truncal LE.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Aug 25, 2020 03:28AM Eigna wrote:

Thanks Minustwo. For how long did you have it? How severe is it ? How often do you see you LE therapist ? Is it manageable? When did it appear in your case? Sorry for the questions... too many.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 25, 2020 10:19AM - edited Aug 25, 2020 12:16PM by Eigna

So doctor told me to continue the antibiotics for another week. And to see her next Tuesday for a follow up. She didn't rule out lymphedema. We will discuss it further after end of antibiotics treatment. She said it is highly unlikely it's IBC because with the antibiotics it would get worse not better. What can I say.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 25, 2020 05:54PM MinusTwo wrote:

So I'll try to answer your questions.

I first had a BMX for DCIS with sentinel node biopsies. Yes, even just those can cause LE. Every doc said pooh-pooh. I found a doc who was in charge of LE and Wound care at a major hospital and he correctly diagnosed mild truncal & breast LE on the left. I learned how to do the massage and was fitted for a heavy duty Bellise Bra for flying and sleeves & gauntlets. At the time I was flying a lot - and always used them when flying. I stopped letting anyone draw blood or do blood pressure on the left side.

Fast forward 2 years - I had a recurrence & ended up with a full axillary lateral node dissection on the right. Because it was now IDC and HER2+, I had chemo first. Then surgery. Then more chemo. Then radiation. Then herceptin for the rest of a year. My RO (radiation oncologist) at MD Anderson was the one who caught the breast & truncal heaviness & swelling on the right and immediately sent me to their LEPT. This was one year after the ALND surgery. I went for instruction and treatment once a week for 6 months. Then I went once a month for the next 6 months. She tried several things (like kinesiotaping) and called in an occupational therapist to make sure I was on track. Then I still went back for a "tune up" every 3 months for another year.

And I got a WearEase compression bra to wear 24/7. They are very comfortable and high up on the back and the underarms. And was re-measured for sleeves & gauntlets for flying and repetitive activity. I've managed to keep the LE from progressing to my arms/hands - which was my goal.

It never goes away. In my case it's manageable, but lot of women have to wrap every night & use pumps to move the fluid. And it can appear any time - even 25 years after surgery or radiation.

Glad you're staying on the anti-b's. I actually have a prescription for antibiotics that I carry with me whenever I travel in case I get cellulitis. That can put you in the hospital in a hurry.

Hope this next week is better.



2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Aug 27, 2020 04:26AM Eigna wrote:

Thanks for all that info Minustwo. When you were diagnosed with lymphedema...did you have swelling, warmth. redness and Peau d’Orange? Im mostly concerned about the peau d’orange... i still have it but the swelling and the warmth has subsided to some extent.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 27, 2020 06:08PM MinusTwo wrote:

Lymphadema can be flaring or just sitting there. Usually you would just have some swelling, but I'm told that can be quite painful. Because I got diagnosed early, I've never let mine go untreated.

LE does NOT necessarily go into cellulitis - but it can be quite dangerous when it does. Cellulitis (or another inflammation/infection) will cause redness, warmth & swelling. Hopefully you're following the antibiotic protocol - apart and aside from the LE diagnosis or treatment

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Aug 27, 2020 06:34PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I’ll chime in on LE. As minustwo pointed out LE can appear in any number of areas and there is a range of how one experiences it. I have very mild LE along the underside of my upper arm. No one would notice anything but me so my swelling is minimal. But I do experience an achiness and occasional pain and redness in the area. That usually means I have to step up my self care routine.All the best

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 28, 2020 06:34AM Eigna wrote:

Minustwo- yes I’m still taking my antibiotics. Redness is subsiding but not completely gone. Warmth is still present. Today I wore a better supportive bra just to see if I feel better regarding my skin. When I wake up in the morning I find my skin less thick. I don’t sleep with a bra. I’m wondering if my bra was restricting and causing the thickness and Peau d’Orange. I wonder what the doctor will say after I finish my antibiotics...on Tuesday.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Aug 30, 2020 07:35PM - edited Aug 30, 2020 07:41PM by Eigna

Anybody else with advice. I just hope it's lymphedema and not IBC ... it's been a rough couple of weeks. I just hope on Tuesday there's a plan in place for me.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/16/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast

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