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 Breastcancer.org 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.

More resources:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/understanding-a-breast-cancer-diagnosis/types-of-breast-cancer/inflammatory-breast-cancer.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/inflammatory-breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20355413


To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
Log in to post a reply

Page 5 of 6 (57 results)

Log in to post a reply

Sep 8, 2021 07:50AM moderators wrote:

Welcome, Kipani! We're sorry you have to be here for these changes in your breast but glad you found us. We know it's scary, but try not to worry too much. Hope your doctor can help you understand what is going on tomorrow. Please come back to let us know how it goes. We're thinking of you!

The Mods

To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
Log in to post a reply

Sep 8, 2021 09:08PM - edited Sep 23, 2021 05:01AM by komg

My lymph nodes are reactive the doctor said but could not explain why my breast got larger. She's going to test my hormones.

Is it typical of IBC to hide it's rash for 2 months straight while only creating an increase in breast size? Has anyone had that experience? I've been taking pictures but the breast in question seems to have stayed largely the same.

4 small red freckles now on underside of breast (now gone)


Hormones came back normal.

Log in to post a reply

Oct 7, 2021 05:18PM Hbring wrote:

Hello,

I was hoping to get some insight on how I should advocate for thorough testing. I have a diagnostic mammogram next week. I was informed by my PCP that during this appointment they can do ultrasounds and biopsies as well. I worry my symptoms align with IBC…an enlarged/swollen breast, constant aching and swollen armpit. No rash/redness though. This is not mastitis either. I'm thankful my PCP didn't throw antibiotics at me. I worry that since IBC is best diagnosed with a biopsy, how do I push for this without sounding like a loon? Thank you :)

Log in to post a reply

Oct 7, 2021 09:20PM moderators wrote:

Hi there, Hbring. We're so sorry you find yourself here with these worries, we know how stressful it can be. We're glad your PCP is being proactive; IBC is rare, accounting for about 1% of all breast cancer cases, and it is very aggressive, with symptoms spreading or worsening very quickly, sometimes within hours or days. You didn't mention how long you've been experiencing symptoms, but we're so glad you're getting this checked out. Please keep us posted.

The Mods

To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
Log in to post a reply

Oct 26, 2021 11:53PM terrlo wrote:

Hello,

Can you offer any advice on how to request getting a biopsy or further testing do for IBC? I've been trying to get a second opinion done with 2nd MD to see if I might have IBC; but was told that I need have been given testing for my breast and a diagnosis by my PCP before they can give a second opinion. I have gotten health insurance for the first time ever this August, so I just recently found a PCP. However upon her examination of me, she said she didn't see anything concerning... and that was that.

I am 23 and about a month ago I noticed that the vein in my left breast was protruding, like I can physically feel the vein and still can. That vein is also warm to the touch. When I first noticed it, I went to a walk-in clinic the next day. The doctor there put me antibiotics for Mastitis. There were no changes during those next 7 days while taking the antibiotic. I then went to my gyno to express my concern and how I feel like I can see dimpling in my breasts. My gyno ordered for an ultrasound to be done, and everything came back negative. The doctor at the imaging place said he didn't see anything irregular. About a week later my chest was feeling a bit tight and the veins in my chest felt like they were on fire; so thinking I was having a heart attack I went to the ER who didn't find anything wrong. I mentioned to the PA about my breast and the veins, but she said if the ultrasound done was negative then she isn't worried about it. After that I already had an appointment scheduled to see my PCP for the first time, and I brought up everything that's been going on with me the past month. She did a breast exam and said she didn't see anything. However now I am feeling a dull ache right under my left breast, both in the front, on the side, and on my back (all in areas about wear my left breast is). It also feels bruised in the middle of my chest even though there is no bruise. I just don't understand what's going on and have been under immense stress honestly. Unfortunately I've just moved to a new city and don't have friends to confide in; and I am unable to tell my family what is going on either due to personal issues. I don't have a support system. I feel so alone. The dull pain in the breast, the warmth, the dimples, and overall look of my breast has me fearing that this is IBC. I've read the statistics for survivors and it's adding into my fear. I feel scared and trapped. I don't know how to reach out to get more testing done. I know I'm on the younger side, but I'm obese and african american, which I noticed IBC tends to affect those two groups more.

So do you have any tips on how to request more testing? I feel as if my PCP will deny me anymore testing, should I ask them? Or should I go to a specialist? Also, do you know how I can go about to find a specialist for IBC?

Thank you!!

Log in to post a reply

Oct 27, 2021 10:28AM moderators wrote:

Hello terrlo, and welcome to Breastcancer.org. We're sorry that you find yourself in this situation, but we're glad you found such a wonderful community for information and support. We're sure you'll get some feedback from other members soon. In the meantime, please remember that IBC is not a common breast cancer diagnosis, especially at your age. Anyway, if you're still worried and the pain continues, you could always get a second opinion. You can learn more on Getting a Second Opinion at the main Breastcancer.org site.

Please post again to let us know how it all goes. We're thinking of you!

The Mods



To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
Log in to post a reply

Nov 1, 2021 06:23PM komg wrote:

Hi everyone me again. Still fighting with my doctor for a biopsy. He says there's nothing to biopsy so he can't do that. Now my right breast has gotten veiny near the nipples and is having brown discharge. The lymph nodes above my left collarbone and in my neck are still swollen 2 months later.

Log in to post a reply

Nov 1, 2021 07:02PM lw422 wrote:

Hbring--sorry I didn't see your post sooner. First, to clarify... IBC is a clinical diagnosis and is not best diagnosed with a biopsy. I had TWO biopsies; both negative for carcinoma. Yet I have IBC. If you are still symptomatic, see a breast specialist ASAP. Good luck.

Log in to post a reply

Dec 16, 2021 06:09PM eeyore58 wrote:

Hi im new and from the uk ...around 3 weeks ago i noticed my r breast was red above the aeola i suffer with chronic hives which i have had for about 9 years now and i scratched my breast and i thought the redness was down to the scratching but it has not gone away then i noticed my aeola felt harder and i have a dry skin patch but its smooth and not rough like orange peel im not sure if i was scratching it to make it go like this or not cuz i scratch everywhere on my skin in bouts because of the hives, ive noticed on my aeola that the pores have enlarged also on the area round the redness on the top and the sides of my breast has also got enlarged pores too the bottom of my breast feels slightly heavier and it feels warmer than my other breast,i went to see the nurse because there were no dr appointments available she checked and then got one of the drs to check me and he checked and found one of my lymph lodes was up slightly and it was smooth he said its most lightly to be an infection of some sort so prescribed antibiotics and he is booking me in for an ultra sound scan, im worried because i read that ibc might not be detected via ultra sound scan i am so scared that i have ibc and i suffer with anxiety that i have had for a number of years,im shaking through fear i am 58 years old ...any advice would be appreciated please ..thank you

Log in to post a reply

Dec 27, 2021 09:11PM - edited Dec 28, 2021 07:50AM by moderators

This Post was deleted by moderators.

Page 5 of 6 (57 results)

Scroll to top button