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Topic: Quite worries about IBC

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried —

Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time. PLEASE DO NOT POST PICTURES OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. Comparing notes, symptoms, or characteristics is not helpful here, as only medical professionals can accurately evaluate and assess your individual situation.

Posted on: Jul 27, 2020 02:17AM

Emmalee01 wrote:

Hi all,

I am a 32 year old mother of a 5 and 2 year old. I am writing for advice around questions to ask of the breast surgeon about IBC. I have an appointment next Wednesday and am nervous.


My fears began three weeks ago with a patch of pink skin that looked bruise like. I went straight to the doctors as health always has been an anxious point for me. Doctor ordered an ultrasound which came back normal. The Mark never went away (nor did it get darker) but my breast (Right) has become tender and slightly larger than I remember (my left always used to be the larger breast). I went back to the doctor who said she saw the Mark was still there, and said to wait it out a month. I told her I was worried about IBC and she brushed it off. She then GOOGLED it (was amazed she basically seemed clueless about it). She said I didn’t have all of the symptoms, but decided to refer me to the breast surgeon to assuage my fears. So basically my breast doesn’t loook that different than before, but the pain and slight enlargement/ pink is worrying me to tears.

What test will the breast surgeon perform? Can ibc be ruled out by an ultrasound? Do I need to request and MRI?


orry for the ramble,

Em x

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Jul 27, 2020 10:08AM Moderators wrote:

Dear Em, we're sorry you are here and worried but wanted to say welcome!

IBC is a rare form or breast cancer but if you google some of its symptoms, you can frequently be directed to an Inflammatory Breast Cancer diagnosis. If you want accurate information on symptoms, test and diagnosis of this type of cancer we would recommend you take a look at our main site, here: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/inflam...

Hope this helps! Please try to keep your self distracted till you have your test done, and come back to let us know how it all goes!

Best wishes,

From the Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jul 27, 2020 10:14AM - edited Jul 27, 2020 07:00PM by sbelizabeth

Good morning, Emmalee01. Inflammatory breast cancer is usually diagnosed with a skin punch biopsy. A doctor will numb up a small area of skin in the pink/bruised area, and then remove a small circle of skin to send for biopsy.

With inflammatory breast cancer, the malignant cells are in the lymphatic channels right below the surface of the skin. It can cause thickened skin as well as the other typical signs of redness and a hot, swollen breast. An ultrasound wouldn't necessarily reveal it, nor would an MRI, since there's usually no "lump" to be found. If anything, these imaging procedures might reveal thickened skin and swelling of the breast. An ultrasound and an MRI might find other issues within the breast, though, such as a lump that would need to be biopsied as well.

If your breast surgeon doesn't bring up the discussion of a skin punch biopsy, you should specifically ask about it. In the meantime, please be aware that inflammatory breast cancer is extremely rare. Yes, people get it, but the chances are pretty low. And I strongly recommend that you stay of the internet. Anytime you google "breast" and "pink skin" you'll get "inflammatory breast cancer" and we all know what it's like to have Dr. Google scare the wits out of us.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jul 27, 2020 02:11PM MinusTwo wrote:

What kind of a doctor did you initially see? Usually an OB/Gyn would refer you to a dermatologist for skin conditions.

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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Jul 27, 2020 02:55PM Emmalee01 wrote:

thanks so much for all of the replies- they’re very helpful. I’ll be sure to bring up biopsy. I’ll also try to stay off google! I unfortunately have a history whereby I diagnosed myself accurately with psoriatic arthritis long before my rheumatologist did which makes me not trust doctors as much as I should. I’ll try to keep in mind the rarity of IBC- thanks

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Jul 27, 2020 02:57PM Emmalee01 wrote:

I saw my General doctor (in NZ that’s who you see before being referred to a specialist). She didn’t refer me to a dermatologist, but to be honest did not seem to know anything much about IBC or breast rashes

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Jul 27, 2020 03:14PM MelissaDallas wrote:

. Except for IBC, which is very rare, breast rashes are not any different than rashes you get on your skin elsewhere. As a matter of fact, breasts are prime territory for skin fungal infections (athletes foot) because they tend to stay warm and sweaty/damp. We don’t assume cancer when we get rashes or red blotcheson other body parts.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Jul 29, 2020 03:43AM Emmalee01 wrote:

thanks For the reminde 😊 I think it’s the slight inflammation that worries me most- it’s becoming more painful too. Also that the right breast was my smaller breast, and is now larger. Glad to be seen next week.

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Aug 1, 2020 05:56AM Emmalee01 wrote:

I’m feeling ever more terrified. If anyone has any words of advice on how to stop thinking about it/ stop looking at my breast please let me know ❤️ My breast seems a little larger than before and the pink patch slightly bigger. Terror increases 💔 just a few days until I’m seen. I’ve never been good at keeping anxiety in check

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Aug 1, 2020 09:34AM MinusTwo wrote:

Emmalee - each of us has to find their own way. Taking fast, long walks works for me. Or I can dive into a book and loose the rest of the world. Some people binge watch TV. Others play with children. Can you call your primary care doc and get some short term anxiety meds? Important - stop looking & stop touching.

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 1, 2020 11:05AM Emmalee01 wrote:

Thanks, I think I do need to speak about anti-anxiety meds. Playing with my kids helps but then also heightens anxiety if I start down a “what if” train of thought

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Aug 2, 2020 01:01AM Casey03 wrote:

Will be following this and keeping you in my thoughts! I have the exact same concern going on and have a dermatology appointment Thursday morning. My area started 2-3 weeks ago and looked like a bruise (no known injury) but seems to come and go in severity from day to day and even from morning to night. I keep running to the bathroom and pulling my boob out for inspection — at home, at work, at Walmart. Im losing my mind and terrified after reading many things online, as I’m sure you are too!! Good luck with your appointment and finding ways to pass the time between now and then!

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Aug 2, 2020 01:18AM Emmalee01 wrote:

oh sounds very similar! Do you have any swelling or pain? I do but it’s not really obvious. I check mine all the time too 😑 keep me updated on your progress too x

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Aug 2, 2020 05:10AM Emmalee01 wrote:

My breast has felt sore tonight and like it’s burning inside. I also noticed a new patch of rash and this patch looks redder and closer to the surface. Am feeling more terrified and resigned at the same time

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Aug 2, 2020 03:05PM blue22 wrote:

Hi Emmalee,

I am sorry you are going through this. The "what if" path is not worth going down right now. You don't have enough information and it does not help to just worry needlessly. You have an appointment coming up and for now that is all you can do other than take care of yourself. What helps relieve stress for you? Does going for a walk or a hike help? Exercise? When the thoughts creep into your mind just remind yourself that you have an appointment coming up and that is what you can focus on.

Wishing you the best,

Blue

Dx 1/2019, IBC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 2/15/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel) Dx 7/30/2019, IDC/IBC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 4/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 7/30/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Dx 8/2019, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 10/8/2019 Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Aug 2, 2020 05:09PM MinusTwo wrote:

Blue is right - find a distraction. And Emmalee and Casey - STOP LOOKING, STOP POKING, STOP FEELING. STOP GOOGLING. A dermatologist is definitely the next step.

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 2, 2020 06:05PM Emmalee01 wrote:

such good advice, but so hard to do! Thanks

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5 hours ago Emmalee01 wrote:

skin has mostly cleared up and any swelling has gone. Breast is back to normal. I just have residual pain in both breasts but unsure that is related. I saw the breast specialist today who examined me closely and performed an ultrasound. She believes whatever it was has cleared. There was no longer any redness or rash to biopsy so I thought I should update. Thanks so much for any advice you have all given me/your time. I’m finding it hard to wind back down out of the anxious state I put myself in. I think most of this has been in my head and I need to work on my health anxiety.

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