Topic: Worried About Inflammatory Breast Cancer? Start here

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried — For those who are experiencing symptoms or received concerning test results, but haven't been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Posted on: Mar 19, 2021 01:54PM - edited Jun 17, 2022 09:46AM by moderators

Posted on: Mar 19, 2021 01:54PM - edited Jun 17, 2022 09:46AM by moderators

moderators wrote:

Hi! We know you're here and worrying about a symptom or change to your breast or breasts. You may have found yourself Googling your symptoms, which led you to finding information on inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Before coming to any conclusion, we hope you can take a deep breath, and read below from the main site's section on Inflammatory Breast Cancer:

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare form of breast cancer that usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the breast instead of a distinct lump. IBC tends to grow and spread quickly, with symptoms worsening within days or even hours.

The average age at diagnosis for inflammatory breast cancer in the United States is 57 for white women and 52 for Black women. These ages are about 5 years younger than the average ages at diagnosis for other forms of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, inflammatory breast cancer is more common in Black women. A 2008 study found that being overweight makes a person more likely to develop IBC. Like other forms of breast cancer, IBC can also affect men.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Although most breast cancers begin as lumps or tumors, inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with a feeling of thickness or heaviness in the breast. You also may develop red, inflamed skin on the breast. IBC tends to grow in the form of layers or "sheets" of tissue, which doctors sometimes call "nests."

The breasts swell and become inflamed because the cancer cells clog the vessels that carry lymph. Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that transports white blood cells and removes bacteria and proteins from the tissues.

Common symptoms of IBC include:

  • Redness of the breast: Redness involving part or all of the breast is a hallmark of inflammatory breast cancer. Sometimes the redness comes and goes.
  • Swelling of the breast: Part of or all of the breast may be swollen, enlarged, and hard.
  • Warmth: The breast may feel warm.
  • Orange-peel appearance: Your breast may swell and start to look like the peel of a navel orange (this is called "peau d'orange").
  • Other skin changes: The skin of the breast might look pink or bruised, or you may have what looks like ridges, welts, or hives on your breast.
  • Swelling of lymph nodes: The lymph nodes under your arm or above the collarbone may be swollen.
  • Flattening or inversion of the nipple: The nipple may go flat or turn inward.
  • Aching or burning: Your breast may ache or feel tender.

Some of these symptoms are similar to those caused by mastitis, a breast infection that can occur in women who are breastfeeding. Unlike inflammatory breast cancer, however, mastitis usually causes a fever and is easily treated with antibiotics. If you are diagnosed with mastitis that is not responding to treatment, ask your doctor about testing for inflammatory breast cancer. The same holds true if you are told you have cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection of the breast skin. Any persistent breast changes should be looked at by a breast specialist.

For more information, see Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Benign Breast Conditions.

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May 30, 2021 11:42AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Not exactly sure what you mean by “carcinogenic foods”, but you know you can’t control other peoples diets and lifestyles. Serving foods they normally eat is not being unsupportive though it would be nice if they had selections that fit your dietary needs. You do not know if you have breast cancer and while everyone should strive for a healthy lifestyle, you can only control yourself! Take care.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 1, 2021 04:38PM batoriova wrote:

Hi all,

I just turned 30 and I have no history of BC in my family. It's been about 10 days since I've discovered a red spot on my left breast, slightly higher on the chest. It doesn't hurt, and now I see some broken capillaries. It doesn't seem to reduce in size. I took an apointment to meet with a doctor but I hoped that I could get some more input through here. It itches once in a while. I don't think its an allergic reaction because it's isolated to only that spot, as well as no sign of a bug bite.

I just created an account to get support and I cant even post a picture...

any input is appreciated. Thank you so much.

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Jun 1, 2021 05:02PM exbrnxgrl wrote:


Please read the comments on the other thread you started. It is easier to follow your situation if you stick to one thread. And again, no one is allowed to post symptom/breast pics. Take care

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 2, 2021 11:09AM batoriova wrote:

Hi all,

Had my apointment with an urgent care doctor and they took a look at my "red spot". Touched to feel for masses/swollen nodes under my arm, everything seems ok. She is not sure what caused my red spot but she prescribed me a stronger cortizone cream to apply 2x a day for a week. Follow up with her in a week to see if it has faded at all. But she is not worried for BC. It's more green/yellow than red today, and the broken capillaries have spread a few mm but the older ones seem to be fading a bit. Will give updates in a weeks time.

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Jun 6, 2021 04:06AM - edited Jun 6, 2021 09:19AM by PurpleAqua

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Jun 6, 2021 04:13AM PurpleAqua wrote:

Hi batoriova.

Hope that's not BC. We are here to support each other.

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Jun 6, 2021 04:19AM PurpleAqua wrote:

Hi exbrnxgrl.

Carcinogenic substances are substances that can cause the growth of cancer cells. There are many cancer-causing substances, and we may often be exposed to these substances without us knowing it.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as part of the WHO classifies carcinogens into several groups, namely:

Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans.

Group 2A: Most likely carcinogenic to humans.

Group 2B: Suspected of potentially carcinogenic to humans.

Group 3: Not carcinogenic to humans.

The Most Common Source of Carcinogens

There are several sources of carcinogenic substances that are often found around us, namely:

Cigarettes and cigarette smoke

Tobacco cigarettes and their smoke contain about 70 substances that are thought to trigger cancer, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic, benzene, lead, to hydrogen cyanide. This is what makes smokers, both active smokers and passive smokers, at high risk of developing cancer.

In addition to triggering the growth of cancer cells, the habit of frequently inhaling cigarette smoke can also increase a person's risk for other serious health problems, such as COPD, heart attacks, and diabetes.

cosmetic ingredients

Some cosmetic products have ingredients that are carcinogenic, but the content is very small. However, the risk for the emergence of cancer remains, especially if the body is exposed to these materials in the long term.

Some of the dangerous ingredients in cosmetics that need to be watched out for because of the risk of causing cancer cell growth include formaldehyde, parabens, mercury, and phthalates.

In addition to increasing the risk of developing cancer, the use of cosmetics that contain harmful ingredients can also cause other dangers, such as contact dermatitis, hormonal disorders, to congenital diseases of the fetus.

To prevent exposure to carcinogenic substances from cosmetics, you should use cosmetics that are sold legally and registered with the BPOM, and have passed dermatological tests.

Exposure to carcinogenic substances may be difficult to completely avoid. However, you can minimize it in several ways, such as using personal protective equipment at work, wearing a mask when exposed to pollution, following a healthy diet, and quitting smoking.

In addition, you can also regularly check with your doctor if you are frequently or at risk of exposure to carcinogenic substances, for example due to work. This examination aims to detect cancer early, so that it can be treated immediately.

Hope you're in a good conditions.

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Jun 6, 2021 04:23AM PurpleAqua wrote:

I found a publication.

Hope it helps.

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Jun 6, 2021 03:30PM - edited Jun 6, 2021 03:37PM by exbrnxgrl

Hi purpleaqua,

Um, yes I understand very well what carcinogenic means as I think most folks, especially those on bco, do. I was wondering, specifically, what foods the member was being fed. I was not asking for a definition as all of us are adults here, most with excellent vocabularies. Perhaps I did not express myself well but after living with stage IV bc for 10 years I understand the vast majority of terms associated with breast cancer.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 28, 2021 11:43AM - edited Jun 28, 2021 12:25PM by vans671

Hello All,

I have been struggling with breast issues all my life. This past year has been the worse for me. I have been experiencing unbearable pain, sometimes it leaves me breathless. I would describe my pain as a stabbing, sharp, and burning sensation. The pain can be so intense, wearing a bra and/or laying on my belly is unbearable. I have been to a doctor many times this yearand was even referred to a breast clinic after my mammogram was normal. Ultrasound showed a cyst (that's been there for awhile) but not in the area I was feeling pain. At one point, my nipples were itchy.

I now have a reddish looking rash or discoloration on my left breast. I just moved to a new state so I need to get in with a doctor. I am so afraid of being brushed off again. I have done a mammogram and ultrasound. Mammogram just showed the cyst and dense breast due to my age(30). It was followed up with a US.

Any advice on getting an MRI of the breast or even to be taken seriously?

I appreciate any advice. Thank you

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