• lmm lmm
    December 27, 2010
    I was told I have breast cellulitis and given an antibiotic. It doesn’t seem to be working. ?
    lmm lmm
    December 27, 2010

    Everything I have read about breast cellulitis indicates I should have pain.  I have no pain.  Can you have cellulitis without pain? I am a 43 year old female.

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  • Phyllis Johnson
    Health Guide
    December 28, 2010
    Phyllis Johnson
    Health Guide
    December 28, 2010

    Cellulits is a soft tissue infection that can happen anywhere on the skin including the breast.  When I had it, I did feel pain and tenderness.  However, I've noticed that when a health problem has multiple symptoms, not everyone will have all of them.  So I wouldn't worry that the absence of pain indicates that your doctor's diagnosis is wrong.  If the antibiotic isn't working, you need to talk to your doctor about ruling out inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).  The redness, swelling, and heat that characterize cellulitis, mastitis, and inflammatory breast cancer can make it more complicated to distinguish among them.  All three usually present with pain as a symptom, so it may be that you do have some other problem.  Fever often accompanies cellulitis and mastitis.

    If you see no change as you approach the end of the course of antibiotics, asking for a referral to a breast specialist would be appropriate.  It may be that you will need imaging tests and/or a biopsy to rule out IBC.  IBC is rare, so don't panic about it.  However, anytime a woman has breast infection symptoms that don't respond to antibiotics, the standard protocol is tests to rule out IBC.  I hope your antibiotics kick in and that you are soon feeling fine.


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