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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 KAT, Community Member, asks

Q: IS ITCHING A SIGN OF BREAST CANCER?

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/24/09 9:08pm

Not all itching is a sign of breast cancer, Kat. In fact, most itching is a hormonal, skin, or nerve issue. Itching to watch out for is 1) if it's on your nipple, and accompanied by scaliness or peeling skin, or what looks like an infection; and 2) itchiness that develops into what looks like a breast infection. Your breast may become red, hot, swollen, painful, and/or the skin dimpled. If any of these symptoms develop, please see a doctor ASAP. Good luck - PJH

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Kat1, Community Member
11/25/09 12:45pm

It is on my nipple and the skin is scaly and peels off and sometimes it has stuff come out other than breast milk it's like clear liquid and sometimes blood. My mom doesn't believe me so she wont take me to the doctor I am 17 and so scared.

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Kat1, Community Member
11/25/09 12:46pm

..... Continued.....

 and it hurts so bad sometimes to where I can't even sleep at night.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/25/09 6:23pm

Kat, at your age, it's SO, SO incredibly unlikely that this would be cancer... Nevertheless, it's obviously painful and scary. Can you get yourself to a hospital or walk-in clinic? If so, ask for advice; tell them your mom refused to take you to the doctor, but you're having health issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully they'll help you. Good luck - PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
11/24/09 9:09pm

Itching could be a sign of many different conditions from dry skin to an allergy to a fungal infection.  In rare cases, itching can be one of several symptoms of Paget's disease or inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), but usually it would not be the only symptom.  When I had IBC, my itching was deep in the breast and not on the skin surface.  

If your itching started recently, a good first step to figuring out what it is would be to switch to skin care and laundry products for sensitive skin.  Not too long ago we had a reader who found that hard water was causing breast itching.  Rinsing the laundry twice in softened water helped.

If your skin is also red or if you have sweiling and/or a fever, call the doctor right away.  If home remedies don't help in a week or two, call the doctor.  

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By KAT, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/02/10, First Published: 11/24/09