I just read an article about itchy breasts being a dangerous form of cancer. My right breast has had a very annoying itch for awhile now. I saw my doctor, but he didn't seem concerned. There are no crusty sores or rash, just constant itching. Do I need to see the doctor again?
Itchy breasts can be a symptom of cancer – though only rarely. Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and Paget's disease of the breast are two forms of breast cancer that may include itching as a symptom. IBC usually presents with a combination of symptoms like swelling, redness, dimpling, pain, and/or itching. Most people eventually diagnosed with IBC have several of these symptoms, and they develop quickly. Paget's usually has a scaly rash around the nipple. Together, though, these diseases account for less than 10% of all breast cancer diagnoses; so statistically speaking, an itchy breast is unlikely to be a sign of cancer.
However, itching can be a symptom of dry skin, irritation, an allergy, and plenty of other problems that aren't dangerous. Think of it this way: if this itchiness were on your arm or thigh, how would you deal with it, and worried would you be? If the only symptom you have is itching, and since you've already checked with the doctor, I don't think you need to get another opinion. If you do develop new symptoms – swelling, breast pain, constant redness – be assertive in getting your doctor to do some tests to find out exactly what's going on.
I've had the same problem, but on and off for several months (on the nipple and ariola). I also get a pain that radiates through my breast. This is only in my left breast. I don't have a regular doctor or insurance and my husband makes too much to get any help--does anyone have suggestions on how to get this checked? Oh and I am 33 years old so I don't know if I am too young for any of the free mammogram programs if it were a possibility of cancer.
Usually a problem that is "on and off" is not likely to be cancer, which tends to get worse, not better. Nevertheless, given the fact that the problem doesn't seem to clear up completely, I'd suggest a doctor visit. If your income is too high for your local free clinics, call around to several family practice doctors and find out how much a physical will cost. Since you'll be paying for this out of pocket, you had just as well get everything checked out at once. If you don't have enough money to pay right now, ask if they will take payments over time. This is the kind of expense that also makes sense to put on a credit card because the cost of preventive care is so much less than the cost of treating a illness that has gotten out of control. If the doctor does think that you need a mammogram, it will be easier for you to get into a free mammogram program at his recommendation.
If you've tried switching to skin care products for sensitive skin and haven't gotten any relief, then it may be time to check with the doctor. Unless the problem is getting worse, it can probably wait until your next check up.
I've had the same problem..
Sometimes my breast feel hurt (like a needle stung my hand) and I feel there's lump in my breast..
After a while, I got it checked to my doctor.. And he said to me that I should rest assured, because it's just eczema, and it won't dangering my life.. But I didn't tell him that my right breast (the one with eczema) sometimes feel itchy..
I'm afraid that it's not eczema, but paget, because I read a medical articel said that paget's sometimes mistaken as eczema..
Can someone help solved my problem? I'm pretty confusing and stress right now..
Usually Paget's Disease affects just the nipple. If the doctor gave you some sort of cream for the eczema and it works, then that indicates that you don't have Paget's. Cancer doesn't respond to topical remedies. If the eczema doesn't get better, the doctor can do a biopsy to make sure it isn't cancer. If that lump is still there, you'll also need some follow up tests like an ultrasound to find out what it is. I hope you get good news.
my mom told me to research how boob cancer looks like because she thought she might have it and so i did , we were looking thru pictures and some of them looked like the rash that my mom has in her boob it looks purple and she says it itches too .do you think she has boob cancer ?
Dear Eli, I'm not a doctor, so I can't say if your mom's symptoms are breast cancer. This article about rashes common in the breast can help your mom learn about some kinds of problems that might be causing her symptoms. One rare kind of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer can cause her symptoms. She definitely needs to see a doctor to find out what is causing her rash and get the right treatment to make her feel better.
For the past month both of my breasts have itched - there is no rash and no discoloration - I did get the first part of the chickenpox vaccine (I get the second part next week) - but I think it started before I got the vaccine (I think so) - Evening Primrose Oil seems to help the itching but it still feels like there is something under the skin...
I also have started to feel a cyst in my right breast that is painful during PMS - I"m very concerned that this is some freak side effect of this vaccine and it might never get solved...I'm making an appointment with my midwife for next week but I'm still worried...
Do you have any idea what this might be - I've tried changing laundry - bought new bras - stopping new skincare...
Thank you for your reply - I really appreciate it.
Hi Leslie - Both breasts itching sounds like a systemic reaction to something - perhaps the vaccine, perhaps an allergy of some kind. Your midwife will hopefully be able to help you assess what to do about the painful lump; but you should see your GP to find out about the itching. Good luck - PJH
Thank you - I'm seeing them asap - this is driving me crazy!
hi there i have a similar problem that i've had on and off and now more frequently. both my nipples itch like hell and i have noticed a slight discharge from the nipple area, the discharge is not a clear colour but more yellow tinge.. can anyone help with this. i haven't been to the doctor because i thought that im reacting to my perfume etc but i've eliminated this and today i noticed i have a few small lumps under my left armpit.
Hi - I'd guess the lumps aren't related to the itchy nipples, though it's possible. Please read our posts on nipple issues, and on armpit lumps; those should both help you decide whether/when to see a doctor about these issues. Good luck - PJH
you'd better see a doctor just to make sure
hi, i was about 25 when i got the same thing. I first thought i was spilling my tea on my shirt becasue i kept getting these stains on my shirt. But it was actually coming from my breast and the discharge became more and then started to change colour. I went to my GP and she referred me to a specialist who said it was my milk ducts. They did the surgery and removed most of them and at the same time they discovered a bineign lump. Unfortuantely at that time Breast Paget's was not common and so nothing was done. Now after putting up with the itching and the flaking for over fifteen years i went back to a different doctor who did diagnose Paget's. I do not wish to alarm you but you need to get it checked out.
Hope this helps
i have fibrocystic in both breasts, but back in november of 2009 i developed a purple/deep red rash that itched uncontrollably there was no smell i tried powders to see it that would help, it slowed the itch some, now i have a dark circle under my breast where the rash was and it looks kinda waxy.....about 3 weeks i did detect some knots so i went to the dr and he sent me for a mammogram/ultra sound they sent the results to my dr that day so i went to see him he tells me it could possibly just be the fibrocystic but he is sending me to a surgeon to do a biopsy...my sister will be gone 1 yr in march from liver pancreas lymph node and lower abdominal cancer, am i just worrying to much?
You're understandably concerned - anyone would be, having to have a biopsy. But about 85% of biopsies are negative, so hold onto that statistic, OK? You're also understandably suffering as a result of your sister's death. Just FYI, her cancer doesn't increase your risk of cancer... Worry is so difficult. All it does is make us feel bad, and cdoesn't accomplish a blessed thing. I hope you can get through this diagnostic process without too much pain and anxiety, and I hope things work out well for you. Best of luck - PJH
Thank You I am really trying to keep a very Positive attitude about all of this..Will keep everyone update on the diagnosis, God Bless You Lisa
And blessings to you too, Lisa - PJ
>i have fibrocystic in both breasts, but back in november
> of 2009 i developed a purple/deep red rash that itched uncontrollably
Please let us know how this turns out! I also have fibrocystic breasts, and in October 2009 both breasts itched for nearly 3 weeks. Shortly after, I developed a large lump in my left breast that doesn't go away like the others. I only recently realized that they occurred at the same time, and I have no insurance.
I have experienced itchiness in both breasts for about a month. Also red, scaly rash-like on both nipples but not at the same time. I've tried lotions and creams because I thought the rash was dry skin but nothing seems to help
Since this is happening on both breasts and seems to be intermittent, it doesn't sound at all like a breast cancer symptom; perhaps you should get a referral to a dermatologist. It sounds bothersome - might be nice to get some relief via medication. Good luck - PJH
I am so sorry that you feel that your husband makes too much money for insurance...That's unheard of, but you are not too young for mammography. Years ago statistics said that you get mammos when you are age 35 and up but, I am so sorry that you have been mislead for a while, I had my only sister to die of "Breast Cancer" at the age of 28 in 1999 she left two beautiful lil' girls age 3 & 12 but, now they are 14 & 22. Please read and with the way the health system is going now everybody is eligible for medical insurance.
i have the same problem im 13 and it irritates me its just itching nothing els but now the skin on my nipple is starting to peal im really worrie i dont no what it is i havent told the doctor or anyone because i think its a bit imbarrasing but i dont no what to do please can you help?
Hi - Have you been swimming in a chlorinated pool lately? Have a new bra, or using new shower gel? Maybe your mom is using a new laundry detergent? Any of these can cause the kind of nipple irritaiton you describe. Please don't worry about breast cancer, at age 13; your chances of having it are considerably less than 1 in 1 million. Please read our message to teens for more information. However, this is not to say you shouldn't keep an eye on this issue, and let your mom know if it doesn't clear up soon. You don't want to develop an infection, and this may be a minor skin irritation that can be treated before it gets worse. Good luck - PJH
i am 22 years old and i have had itchy breasts for about 2 weeks now and it's very irritating.it's both breasts and they itch all over. i try not to scratch but if i dont scratch them it becomes pianful and burns, i'm not sure what would cause this problem.i have never had this problem before, even when i was pregnant. there is no rash, dry skin, discoloration,or bites of any kind. i tried lotion but that seemed to make it worse. any suggestions??
With both breasts involved, this wouldn't be a breast cancer symptom. Have you changed laundry detergent or shower gel? Bought a new bra? Doing a lot of swimming? This sounds like a skin issue of some kind; or it may be hormonal. At any rate, since it's gone on for 2 weeks and sounds very uncomfortable, why not see a doctor and get it diagnosed and treated? Good luck - PJH
hello, everyone isn't eligible for insurance. they said the same thing about my husband making too much money for us to receive insurance, and he works per diem for Pennsylvania Hospital here in Philadelphia, PA. plus, the hospital won't cover us either because they have him on paper as a part time worker even though he works full time hours most weeks...scandlelous...UGH!
It is scandalous how many employers deliberately keep workers as contract workers (per diem) or part time to avoid putting them on the employer-provided insurance. A major university in a city where I used to live employed the housekeeping staff at 37 hours a week to avoid providing insurance. Individual insurance can be the answer. As a young adult our son was able to get private insurance at a fairly reasonable rate. There is not "makes too much money" when buying insurance on the private market. There may be "pre-existing conditions", but that problem is supposed to be addressed by the new health insurance laws.
I have had an itchy left nipple for the past few days. There is a dry crust on the nipple opening. I squeezed it an no fluid came out. Should I see my doctor or should I wait a week to see if it goes away?
For just itching, waiting a bit longer is probably fine. Itching is so common and has so many unexplained causes that usually go away on their own.
For the crusting, use your instinct. Is it worrying you? If you had a similar skin symptom somewhere else, would you be concerned? We aren't doctors, and we aren't there to see how much crust or how alarming it looks. Since it is Friday, it can't hurt to give the doctor a call to ask if you need to be seen right away or if it can wait until next week.
First, Susan G. Komen Foundation Grant is a new program, call Thomas Jefferson Hospital University in Philadelphia at 215.955.5495 for direction or guidance.
Second, please it is worth checking it out, so do call your state representative for direction on free mammogram programs.
Breasts often itch because they are growing, and they often don't grow evenly. This Teen Guide to Normal Breast Development will answer many of your questions. If your itching is really bad, let your mom or another adult know. You might need to see a doctor to get the right kind of cream to help. Breast problems in teens are almost never breast cancer, so you don't need to worry about this being cancer.
Annie, it's probably related to your breasts growing during pregnancy. When the skin stretches, it can feel itchy. Do mention it to your doctor at your prenatal visit and have it checked out. If it turns red and swells more than the left side or if you develop a fever, don't wait for your next scheduled appointment. Call right away.
I'm 23 I've had itching in my right breast for maybe about a month or 2 now, when it first started itching it looked like a mosquitoe bite or somthing but it's still there & it's still itchy, I've talked to one off my aunties about it and she told me to go to the doctor but I then told my mum about it and she says she's had similar with hers aswell but I'm not sure whether I should just go 2 the doctor about it or not, I've got 2 aunties who've both had breast cancer & they've died one was my mum's aunty who i never met and the other my father's sister and I think one off my great aunties on my fathers side had breast cancer aswell so I'm a little worried that if I go to the doctor I could find out it's breast cancer, what should I do?
Amy, any time you notice breast changes that last more than a month, you need to check with a doctor, especially when the change is on just one side like yours. This article on itchy breasts will give you some background information that you may find reassuring. It may well be some sort of bite that is just taking a long time to heal, but you need to know for sure. It might be some sort of infection that needs a doctor's attention. In the unlikely event that it is cancer, you need to know as soon as possible to get the treatment that would save your life. Let us know what you find out. I hope it is good news.
My left breast has been having a "deep" itch off and on for years and I lost any sensation I previously had in it. My doctor said not to worry about it. Sometimes cortisone would help the itch. When the doctor did not do any tests etc., I would just say "oh, it is just growing" because it did get larger. I found out a few weeks ago that I have cancer in that breast (Stage 0 - DCIS) and I need a mysectomy. I am only 59 and in excellent health so this came as a real shock to me and my family.
I should have insisted that tests be done on it to determine what the cause was. I put my faith in a few different doctors instead of in myself.
I insisted on a mammogram even when the doctor said he does not feel any lumps and told me I do not have cancer. I am glad I did because I hopefully caught the cancer in time.
Thankfully, it appears you did catch it in time - DCIS is completely curable. Unless they find more cancer of a different sort in the pathology report after your surgery, you should be fine. Interesting how our bodies can sometimes speak to us; there's no evidence that deep itching, for years ahead of time, signals cancer (especially stage 0, which is very non-invasive); yet perhaps you're sensitive enough to your body that you actually could feel something happening... Best of luck with your upcoming treatment. PJH
Thank your for your reply and words of encouragement. Not knowing what to expect from my surgery, is scary for me right now. Another interesting thing is about 15 years ago, my left breast was injured in an accident. It bled and oozed for years. The specialist told me that even though it happened, to be thankful that it was oozing because when it stops, cysts could form and turn into cancer but to take B-complex to help the cysts not turn to cancer. Had I known then what I do now, I maybe would have asked to have my ducts taken out then because that is where the oozing came from but they did not want to do that due to my age. But I think the B-complex did help me out in the long run. I just wonder if it is not scar tissue in my breast and not cancer like they are telling me. The operation will show just what is inside of them.
This could very well be scar tissue, which is often seen as "suspicious" and biopsied. Let's hope that's just what it is! Take care- PJH
hi I was using the dettol hand wash when I have a shower & I found my right breast was itchy but I haven't been using it & it hasn't been itchy?? so I don't know whether I should still go 2 the doc or not?? I've used that I think 2 other times recently 2 see if it itches after I use it & if it does then I know it must be the dettol hand wash??
If you have discovered that the hand wash is the problem, there is no need to see the doctor. You would want to check with a doctor for unexplained itchiness that persists in just one breast. If the problem goes away when you change skin care products, there is no need to worry. Why it's been on the right and not the left will just be one of those little mysteries of life. It may just be that your skin on the right is a little more sensitive. Good detective work on your part for figuring it out!
Ok, well im 14 . and lately my breast have been getting itchy all around, and idk what to do. i have alot of alergies and dry skin, so could it just be that? after im done itching it gets red, well ya it would. no lumps, no rash, my friend also said it could be becuz of my bra. so maybe i dont have anything to worry about ?
Itchy skin is common in the winter, especially in the breast area where the skin is delicate. Try not to scratch; that makes it worse. Tell your mother or other trusted adult who can help you decide if you need to see a doctor for a cream to help the itching. Often breast itching can be taken care of by using mild, unscented skin care products and rinsing bras thoroughly. You do not need to worry about this being breast cancer. You can read about some common causes for itchy breasts at this link.
I had an itcy sensation in my left breast with occassional stabbing pain. It turned out that it was breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer, Stage 3 B/C. It went anteriorly to my nipple and posteriorly to my chest wall in a dot dash like matrix. There was no actual lump. After 6 mos. of chemo, I still had 3 lymph nodes positive. Get it checked out and don't take NO for an answer. Most states provide free mammo's for women, if you get into that program, and you are positive for cancer, Medicaid (in NY anyways) will cover all treatment. I had blue cross blue shield and lost that coverage after I had to stop working. I then had to pay for medicaid. GOOD LUCK.
So glad I found this post. About 7 mos ago a nodule showed up on the left side of my left breast in a mammogram, they did another mammogram and then an ultrasound and told me it was a benign cyst and to just watch it. I can feel it when I do an exam and it doesn't seem to have grown in size, but, I have been feeling an itching sensation in the same area for about 2 weeks now. No surface rash or puckering, just an annoying itching sensation on the inside and have also felt some stabbing pain. I will definitely call my Doctor! Thanks.
as you said a symptom is a scaly rash around the nipple. i have a scaly rash and itching but the rash is not around the nipple its just on the breast itself. i have talked to my mom about it who is a nurse and she says tht it could also be fungus ?
Usually a rash on the breast is just that - some kind of skin condition, often a fungal infection. Please read our post on itchy breasts; and our post on breast rashes. Both of those should give you good information about whether/when to see a doctor about this. Bottom line, if the rash develops into something more serious - e.g., your breast seems infected (red, hot, swollen, painful), then see a doctor right away; you might have an infection or, unlikely but possible, a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer. Take care- PJH
hi umm im 18 my right breast gets itchy at times what can cure it from itching?
Especially if this occurs regularly – it appears, then disappears – it's probably hormonal, which means you just have to wait it out. If the itch is accompanied by a rash, please read our post breast rashes for some information about possible causes, and what you can do about them. If the itching grows worse, especially if it doesn't go away, then best to see a doctor, OK? You'd want to find out what's causing it, and get some relief. Best of luck - PJH
Chrystal, beside the suggestions PJ has, take a good look at what touches your breast. One of your breasts may be getting chafed more because you use one arm more than the other, which affects the breasts. Are your bras soft and well-rinsed to get rid of all traces of detergent? Are you using unscented skin care products designed for sensitive skin? You might need some lotion or moisturizer for dry skin. There is a good chance that there is a hormonal component to your itching, but good skin care can help. Don't use any kind of over-the-counter anti-itch medicine for very long because the wrong medicine can make the situation worse. Check with a doctor if simple home remedies do not help.
Well please tell me how I can get medical insurance too, make too much for state assistance but my employer doesn't offer it and I cant even afford my monthly utilitys! Maybe your the one mislead.
Lesli, was the ibc detected from a mammogram? I have been experiencing the same symptoms as you described. However now I have pain and itchy nipples in both breasts. Doc put me on medication for yeast infection twice. 1st time symptoms subsided but within two weeks it was back and in both breasts. 2nd does did nothing. I have had a mammogram in March, last week a ultra sound around the nipples and nothing is detected. This is getting really old fast.
Kris, have you considered seeing a breast specialist, if you haven't already? That would be your best move, at this point. Being in both breasts, it almost certainly wouldn't be IBC; but it's clearly very uncomfortable. So ask your PCP for a second opinion and referral to a breast specialist, OK? Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon - PJH
Get another opinion. I always like to do that. One from my Primary and then one from my Gynecologist!
I just want you all to know that not all states nor counties offer insurance. I'm a 46 yr female that doesn't have children, I'm a full time student, have been homeless twice in the past 3 yrs and I don't qualify for anything! This is ubsrud. I've only had Insurance 1 time in my adult life and that lasted a short while until the company I worked for made cut backs and I was one they cut back on!
I live in a small town in North GA and the only thing that is now available is a Free Clinic but they don't have all the resources and since it's been so long for me not getting properly checked out they look at me like I'm a hyperchondriac. Truth is I had to have an emergency Hysterectomy in 2007 which I'm still paying off (can't even afford to do that) because of a rare disease I had which we found out about AFTER the surgery. I'm a DES daughter and now have a great deal of medical issues including severe itchy breasts (on the bottoms around bra line on both sides) as well as extremely itchy arm pits. Not sure what to do, they don't itch all the time, but at least 2 or 3 times a week. I get to scratching so bad they turn red and end up with scratch marks. I've tried everything from changing detergents, soap, bras etc, but nothing is working. What do you suggest?
Robin, I'm at a loss what to suggest. With your financial challenges, and the apparent lack of health resouuces in your area, it doesn't sound like "the system" will work for you. Intermittent itching in both breasts isn't a typical breast cancer symptom, so you probably don't need to stress about that; but neither do you want to continue dealing with this itching. Unfortunately, you might have a food allergy of some kind, which is hard to pin down. Or just some systemic allergy. Have you tried OTC itch relievers, like Claritin? We're not doctors here and can't really diagnose/advise on medications, but that would seem to be your best bet at this point - until our health care system changes so that women without insurance aren't thrown into financial ruin when they seek and receive health care. I'm sorry I can't help- PJH
Thanks, this is why it's so important for ALL of us to be aware of who we put into office and where they stand. I promise you I'm not the only one in this situation and many of us are going undiagnosed! In my adult life I had always had severe problems with my period, and because I had no insurance Dr's wouldn't really investigate into my situation. It was when I was rushed into the ER in 2007 with a 4 cm cyst on my left ovary that was about to be ruptured that I finally got a dr. I still had to put down $500 for him just to do the surgery. When they did it they sent my parts (if you will) for biopsy and that's when they found out that I had a 1 in 100,000 rare disorder! I for my entire life had a double uterus, double cervix with two left ovaries! (And most women think they had it rough lol). It was the second ovary that started becoming active.
The doctor said I was lucky and NOW he understood why I was in so much pain. To be honest I'm extremely lucky, there are thousands of women that doesn't have insurance and this "NEW HEALTH" bill isn't going to help! The bottom line is we need to have our congress MANDATE a price regulation in the health field industry just like they have done in every other industry, set up and regulate pricing to stop the kickbacks, to stop the price gougin!
Sorry went on a little tirade, I just hate that women of all ages can't get proper medical attention! Let's all be more cautious about who we select.
omg thanks you scared the crap out of me i have itchy boobs and now breast cancer holy macoroni and cheese man!
Not sure if you're saying you've been diagnosed with breast cancer... But if not, itchy breasts - eespecially when both are itchy - are VERY rarely a sign of breast cancer. Chances are good this is hormonal. Unless you see other signs in the next few weeks - dimpled skin; or an appearance of infection (redness, swelling, pain, heat), you should probably assume this is something to do with hormones, or an allergy; and pursue treatment from that direction. Good luck - PJH
I have a small rash on my left breast - I am 14. I have little spots too from heat rash but there is a slightly darker patch which doesn't look like just spots - what shall I do?
Leave it alone, keep it cool and dry, and see what, if anything, develops. At your age, it's nearly impossible to have breast cancer, so please don't worry about that; our message to teens might help reassure you. If the rash doesn't disappear within a month; or certainly if it gets worse and spreads, you'd want to see your doctor, OK? You might have an allergy or eczema or something that can be fairly easily treated. Best of luck - hope it gets better soon. PJH
Show the place to your mom or another adult who can help you decide whether you need to see a doctor. As PJ says, if it lasts a month or gets worse, you will definitely need to have a doctor take a look. This sounds like a skin issue, not cancer, which is extremely rare in teens. I know it's embarrassing to show your breast to someone else, but you need to do it. There are creams and powders that can help with the heat rash, and an adult can help you choose the appropriate one for you.
im 21 and I've had itchy breasts but only my right nipple and aureola is sloughing skin. my armpits and under arms also itch but do not lose skin. This has been happening for about a month now. I went to my doctor and she told me to try an anti-fungal for yeast and that seemed to help my arms but my breasts still itch and slough. idk if it will disappear but there is no rash or redness. you said it could be hormonal, what do you mean and what do i do if it doesn't go away? I don't really have much to spare to go back to the doctor but will if i really need to, should I or just try things and home? if at home what r ur recommendations?
A hormonal breast problem means that the changing hormones a woman experiences over the course of her menstrual cycle are causing swelling, itching, tenderness, or other annoying breast changes. There is no need to worry about them because they come and go with a woman's period.
In your case, the doctor thinks that a yeast fungus is causing your skin symptoms. Yeast problems are very common under the arms and breasts during the summer when it is hot and moist. Since your doctor has checked you out and is pretty sure that this is fungal, I'd suggest giving the anti-fungal more time to work. Fungal infections can be hard to get rid of, and may recur just when you think they have disappeared. Besides using the cream or powder the doctor suggested, try to give your skin opportunities to breathe by wearing cool, light sleep wear and stay as cool as possible. Trying skin care products designed for sensitive skin (no perfumes or harsh ingredients) may help the skin sloughing.
If the problem gets worse, especially if you see swelling and redness, you will need to check back with the doctor. I hope you are soon seeing an improvement.
As far as money. Most people do not know that they can ask for a "CASH" pricing at the Dr.'s. This saves them time and effort on paperwork and usually can be worked out for a tremendous cost savings. Even Dr.'s can barder. There are usually Dr.'s associated with local hospitals that one can go to the billing department and ask to speak with someone about paying cash price through them with private or charity help. These may be hard to swallow - but there is a reason folks give - that is for deserving to use!
Thanks, Jeanie. These are great suggestions.
My left breast has been itching on the inside for two years now so much so somtimes i feel like getting a knife and digging out what ever it is that bothering me so much! I went to doctors and she just gave me steroid cream but i know its not my skin thats itching its inside i can feel it! now im getting throbbing pains from inside and i do feel tired i have to have a nap in the afternoon, i know its not the skin it has no rash ect, nothing comes out of my nipple its just this itch! do you think its something?
I would definitely ask for a mamogram and a sonogram because itchiness was a symptom for my breast cancer. But don't think the worst - it may be nothing. Just get it checked out!
Hi I was just checking itchy breast and fungus on the breast. I just realized from reading all this articles that a while back I always used to get a fungus on only the right breast. I never thought anything about it because my doctor always gave me steriod cream. Now however I just recently had an ultrasound done on my both breast and they found a nodule that is vascular on the right breast. I just did a biopsy last week and I am awaiting the results. So now I see that there was a reason for the itchy and fungus. OMG I just praying that everything is ok.
My husband is also a per diem R.N. working in hospitals with no insurance. I have had itching at night for a while and it seems to be worse on my right breast but no rash or other symptoms. It is worse if I don't shower before bed so I have been hoping it is just dry skin irritated by sweat and bra during the day. I have been concerned to seek treatment in fear of aquiring a pre-existing condition without insurance. I am 36 years old.
Eventuallly, the poor get cared for through a complicated system of Medicaid and charity institutions; however, I agree with you that a country with all of our resources should do a better job than we do. Our recent health care laws will make it better. In fact, the changes have already gone through for young adults and children.
In the State of Nebraska, a program called "Every Woman Matters" is based on income, they send you a packet. Might check to see if its available in your area/State. Hope all goes well...
An itchy breast is usually a symptom of dry skin, not breast cancer. Only a doctor can tell you if you have breast cancer. If switching to mild unscented soap and lotions for dry skin don't help, please tell your mom. If your itchy breast is a symptom of a health problem, ignoring the problem will not help solve it. When breast itching is a breast cancer symptom, it is accompanied by swelling, redness and other symptoms. So please don't worry about having breast cancer, but do let an adult help you figure out what to do next.
Did the doctor tell you you have breast cancer? It would be unlikely, for sure; please read our message to teens about this. Itchy breasts at your age are very common; they usually mean your breasts are growing; or you're dealing with some skin issue (are you wearing a new bra? changed chower gels or laundry soap?) If a doctor has told you you have breast cancer, next time you go for treatment, mention this itching, OK? Take care - PJH
I'm glad that you found your cancer early. While itchy breasts are not a typical breast cancer symptom, your experience is a good example of why it is a good idea to always be aware of breast changes.
yeah, L'Europe is about to get a taste of the same kind of economic downturn that the old US of A has been experiencing...and the next time there is a huge natural disaster and foreign aid is needed immediately...which country unquestionably comes to the rescue? France? Or maybe Spain? No...I think we know the answer to that one. So save the self-congratulating, already.
try hydrocortizone cream and maybe Goldbond powder. It can be bought over the counter. If your bra makes you sweat or is too tight, it will cause rash and itching too
Powder can be used to keep the breast dry, which can reduce redness and itching. Hydrocortizone cream is OK for a short period of time, but it shouldn't be used indefinitely without a doctor's recommendation. I was surprised when the doctor said that the daily dab I was using for a rash behind the ears could interfere with some of my other medications. Thanks for your suggestions.
YES ! I compeletly agree with you! Its all about profits , payoffs to politicians by the Insurance Companies and we all get s......d.
In CA there is a program called BCEDP for the unisured. You should see if that program is available in your state. Also many hospitals offer flat (discounted) rate for mammograms.
The new healthcare laws have not begun, thankfully. And hopefully will not. The healthcare system is so bad in parts of Europe that people die waiting their turn for treatment. Socialized medicine does not work. Why do you think the British without money have such bad teeth? Waiting their chance to see one of the few remaining dentists. The "free" system in Canada has a 3-4 year waiting list for an MRI. I have multiple sclerosis and due to the treatment I'm on, I'm supposed to have two a year. Without them I could die from a condition called PML. A friend of mine moved here from England because it took so long to get medical care there. That, and their income tax is so high.
No 3-4 year waiting in Canada for MRI, where did you hear that? For my knee I was scheduled within 2 weeks, and it wasn't even that serious.
ehhh no more susan ladies.....shes calin it quit
Thanks for setting the record straight, Lise - PJH
Unfortunately, there are way too many people who are under 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Forty is usually the youngest age for screening mammograms for women who don't have any breast problems, but they can be done on younger women when they have symptoms. Sometimes mammograms don't get good results in young women because their breast tissue is denser, but in those cases sometimes an ultrasound can pick up problems.
If you have had these symptoms for a month or more, and if the symptoms don't get better after your period, then you either need to go back to one of these doctors and explain that your symptoms haven't gotten better or find a different doctor. There are many possible causes for breast rashes, and most of them are not dangerous, so I don't think you need to panic about this. However, your doctor's explanation that you are too young for mammograms or breast cancer does not inspire confidence.
What a tragic shame that uniformed people like you are trying to prevent people in your own country from having access to healthcare. Whoever told you those stories about Canada are lying. We have world class healthcare, and while waits for non-urgent care are sometimes longer, urgent care, such as that for Cancer is provided quickly and without the need for payment. My daughter recently required an MRI for a non-urgent matter and got it within 3 weeks at one of the top children's hospitals in the world. I needed a non-emergency colonoscopy on a "better-safe-than-sorry" basis and had it completed within 5 weeks. When I needed an emergency ultrasound a few years ago I was in an ultrasound within an hour of presenting at my doctor's office and even though he could not bill me for it, he called me from his daughter's college graduation ceremony to deliver the results. My husband visited an emergency department for abdominal pain and during the exam the emerg doctor found a suspicious mole on his back. He was referred to a dermatologist in a week and had surgery a week later to remove it. Our Canadian system is world class and the number one reason I would never move to the US. Also, do some research and you will find that the US pays significantly more per capita for healthcare, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of Americans get no healthcare and every person in Canada does. This is because of the large profit margin all health providers - mostly large and greedy corporations - in the US must build into their pricing. Do not fear your government taking the compassionate and reasonable step to guarantee the most basic human right, health care, to all members of your society!
Cee, thank you for sharing your experiences with the Canadian system. I have been in correspondence with many Canadians over the years about their breast cancer treatments, and I can affirm that your experiences are typical based on what I have read. One factor that sometimes gets left out of this equation is that there are differences in health care depending on what Canadian province a person lives in just as there are differences among the states for what is covered by Medicaid--our system for helping the poor. So blanket statements about either country's system sometimes overstate the case.
I thought this was a forum about itchy breasts and the possible causes of it. Why has it beocme about health insurance and or how long it takes to get an appointment. I am looking for answers for the problem that this forum was started for.
Dear Tatgirl, we don't censor what readers post on this site unless it is obscene. You might want to read more about itchy breasts, and then ask your question at the end of the article where the comments may be more "on topic." This thread has gotten so long that it may take you a while to find what you want.
I seem to get a sore under my left breast thinking it's rubbing from my bra. It happens no matter what type of bra I have on. It gets to the point that I have to put an antobitoc cream with a bandaid on it during the day and remove it at night. Today I have itching where the sore has cleared up. Any one else have this experience?
How long has this been going on, Ann? If it's a long-standing problem (e.g., you've been experiencing this for months or years), then it sounds like you've got a very sensitive spot that never really gets a chance to fully heal. Would it be possible to substitute a camisole for a bra for awhile, really give it a break from the rubbing? If not, you might want to invest in a custom bra, one that's fitted just to you.
If this is a more recent problem (e.g., it's been going on for 2 or 3 weeks); and antibiotics aren't curing it, then it would qualify as a breast change, and you'd want to see your doctor to have it checked out, OK? Good luck - PJH
Under bra area can be kept dry (or any area on body) by applying deodorant. It works great, especially during hot, sultry, humid summer weather.
Hi, I was not concerned up unti today. My right breast was itchy and then the itching stopped. I got out of the shower one day and to my surprise there was this red hot spot on the bottom about an inch away from my nipple. At this time I did not pay too much attention to it because I thought it was just a pimple. But a few days have passed and now the spot is getting bigger and darker. However, it looks like there could be a mole in the middle of the spot, Is this possible? LOM
Oh, I forgot to mention there is a small hard lump. But it could be a mole. Ok, calling the Dr.!
Since this spot is getting larger, I'd say it's a good idea to contact your doctor, describe your symptoms just as you did here, and see what s/he says. This doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, but better saye than sorry... PJH
i'm 21 years old, and i have noticed that i have had itchy breast. i have bben told by people that they are growing, but i not sure i believe that. i am not pregnant . it tends to happen when i go on my period, but i do get it off and on.. i know that i do have fbycstic lumps in both my breast... i do have mammo and ultra sound , it happend twice a year. i have not talked to my doctor yet. but the itching has been going on for about 3 months know. i have got new bra , and i use powder to help the sweatieness that occurs sometimes.. i am at a lost of what it could be , i think i have tried everything,expect talk to my doctor about it. anyone else have any ideas ?
Cam, itching in both breasts is not likely to be dangerous, especially when it is happening mainly during your period, a time when your breasts are probably a little swollen anyway and your hormones levels are changing. I would suggest you read more background information about itchy breasts in this article by PJ Hamel. Also read other people's experiences in this thread for some other ideas about reducing itching. If this continues, you will want to talk to a doctor, but this doesn't sound like an emergency situation if it doesn't get any worse. I hope you feel better soon.
hello,i'm 14 years old.i kinda have itchy breasts nd i have a small pimple or i dont know wat it is bt it is looking like a rash bt only one.my mother says that these r common in puberty bt i still feel uncomfortable nd i'm afraid. both of my breasts itch bt my left is more itchy.how to get relief from it ,i mean it is uncomfortable. plz.........help me!!
Your mom is right - you'll be seeing all kinds of changes in your breasts as you go through puberty. Please don't be afraid that you have breast cancer; the chances of that, at your age, are less than 1 in a million. Please read our message to teens about breast cancer for more information about that.
As for the itching, did you change your shower gel lately? Get a new bra? Are you swimming a lot, or maybe your mom changed laundry detergent? There are all kinds of reaosns for itchy skin; and since your breasts are sensitive, they're more likely to be affected by conditions that might cause itchiness. This could also be hormonal; or it could be nerves, which might be affected by the growth going on around them. Try applying anti-itch cream (cortisone), and see if that helps; wearing a loose-fitting camisole for awhile might help, too, if you can. Try to keep your breasts as cool and dry as possible. If the itching gets too bothersome, ask your mom if she'll make a doctor's appointment for you - there may be something s/he could suggest that would help. Good luck - PJH
You might want to read our Teen Guide to Breast Development for ideas about what to watch for and when you need to see a doctor. PJ's suggestions will probably help, but as your breasts are growing, some itching and discomfort happens just because your skin is stretching. There is really not much you can do about that. Try really hard not to scratch because that makes it worse. Sometimes a cold compress (like a frozen wet washcloth) can calm the nerves that make you itch. It's really good that you can talk to your mom about this. If you get a red, itchy rash, or other problems, let her know. She will know if you need to see a doctor.
i am almost 60 years old. never had a questionable mammogram and have been getting them since around age 20. last time they did my right breast twice only to tell me oh it was nothing. for the past couple weeks, my breasts (especially my right one) has been itching! no sores, no rash, no nothing, just itchy. now my left is too although i'm afraid it might just be my imagination since the right one is itching. i am relieved that you don't think it's anything with your other replies -- do you think i can trust the fact that last mammogram (about 6 months ago) they did that breast twice but said oh it was nothing? if it wasn't for that, i wouldn't give it a second thought. also, i don't like any more mammograms. i believe the reason so many women over 60 get breast cancer is that they've been exposed to that radiation about 40 times!! i don't like that. i don't like the thought that oh we can find the cancer with radiation and maybe cure it when i strongly suspect that's what is giving it to you. i am sure 40 exposures to radiation is not a good thing.....
I wouldn't rush in for a mammogram, KJ - you're right, you don't need any more radiation than you absolutely have to have! Surprised you've been getting yearly mammograms since age 20 - you must have a huge family history of breast cancer to warrant that schedule... Anyway, I'd say rule out any obvious causes first (new laundry detergent, new shower gel, new bra, new bedding, etc.). And if the itching continues, and is driving you crazy, see a doctor to find out what's up. Unless the itching turns into something more obvious (pain, swelling, heat, redness, dimpled skin), this wouldn't be a breast cancer symptom, but is more likely a dermatological or nerve issue. Good luck - hope it stops on its own soon! PJH
hello i am only 18 yrs old. I have an annoying itching on my right breast when i take shower. so what is that? help please
Everything you have said is pure propaganda. I live in Canada and I can assure you that we do not wait 3-4 years for an MRI. What a ridiculous comment. It's too bad that people can't be held accountable for spewing false information and slandering my good countries of Canada and Britain. I'm a citizen of both, and spent my youth in Britain and have beautiful teeth!
Thank you for your comment. Everyone needs to keep in mind that this health site like every other that accepts public comments cannot verify the accuracy of comments. The posts you read by Health Guides and Health Professionals are written by people who have been hired by HealthCentral for their expertise, and we are required to check our facts from reputable sources. We trust that most people who write in with their experiences with health issues and the health care system are truthful, but everyone needs to keep in mind that they are reading the opinions of individuals, whose experience and/or symptoms may not be typical.
yes Tanya, i live in the usa but i dont have my insurance yet so i cant go to a dr. they want insurance or they dont want to see you!! its all about MONEY!!! ive had itching off and on and after a mamagrahm 2 years ago they seen something but said it was benein and then last year once again the same thing and ive been getting sicker year by year. the dr. said oh thats normal!! im 65 and am trying to get insurance but they are so picky so might not get any!! dont know what to do!!!
PJ, as i just said to tanya, i have had mamagrahms for the last two years and they found something on both times . they had a second oppion and it was said that it was benein. i still have the pain and itching sometimes on my breast plus i have the pain under my left arm and down my arm at times.. it goes around to my back as well. sometimes it feels like there is a rubber band under my left arm. ive had tests of all kinds.i was told by a female dr. that it was normal to have itching around and on my breasts. im 65 and i dont have insurance as yet. im waiting to be approved. i make little a month on my medicare but i live with my daughter so its tough to get any help.i havent felt so good the last month, tired, and have pain. the dr. in my small town just said, i dont know what it is!! it could be a nerve thing.it bothered me when i read that itching can be a symptom of cancer.
Carol, the conditions you describe don't sound like breast cancer symptoms; especially since you've been having these issues for 2 years. Breast cancer is likely to get worse over that time period, and really become apparent that it's cancer. Itching can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, but that's a particularly aggressive and fast-growing cancer; two years of itching wouldn't be a sign of IBC. Since a lot of this is on your left side, when you get insurancew, you should probably ask to be checked for any cardiac issues - which could be producing your fatigue. I hope you get insurance soon, and can get a good, thorough checkup to find out what's causing your pain, itching, and these other symptoms. Good luck - PJH
Carol, speak to a social worker at your local hospital; they should be able to help you figure out how to get some help, evern without benefit of insurance. PJH
I totally understand.... she ment they don't qualify for state assistance... meaning she and her husband are in that finacial bracket where they make too much to get help... but not enough to afford the high prices the insurance companies are charging... I have the same problem... It is total crap how the insurance companies want to charge so much and then don't want to pay when something does go wrong... I mean come on, what are they doing with all the money we pay in???? That is really what the government needs to be working on....
I believe the current administration has been working hard to solve the health care situation on many levels; hopefully things will improve in the near future... PJH
Leslie - I am am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I am curious - how did they end up finding your IBC? Was it through a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI or xray? I've had all four tests done but it only finds the same 2 - 2mm cysts in my left breast that they believe are benign. I am also itchy in the same breast/nipple with a heat sensation going towards my armpit, also experiencing bain along bome (where my underwire bra lies.). Very frustrating as they cannot seem to locate the source - this has been going on for 7 months. I am going to another breast surgeon for a second opinion per my GP. I appreicate your response. Be Well.
Barbara Ann, you might want to try contacting Leslie directly, by clicking on her name (in blue type) at the top of her post; she connected here quite awhile ago, and may not be monitoring this thread anymore.
I hope the breast surgeon can help you get to the bottom of this pain and itching. After 7 months, with no further developments (e.g., swelling, redness, dimpled skin), it's highly unlikely this would have anything to do with IBC; IBC progresses much more quickly than this. Good luck going forward with your appointment - PJH
Barbara Ann - I had bilaterally itchy breasts, but my left was much worse. I also had pain in the left breast which was in the 2:00 position. It could be sharp stabbing pain, or a deep aching pain. It varied. The itching and pain were not constant initially, but progressively became constant. I had my normal GYN check up in February. I was told pain and itching are signs of fibrocystic disease, NOT cancer. A regular mammo did not show anything. End of May, I went to my GP, and told them that I thought that I had cancer and I thought it was bad. I had a very very small, <1mm (pinprick size) indentation with a small area of redness surrounding it. They said it was probably an infection, but with my insistance, ordered a diagnostic mammo and diagnostic ultrasound. These are more detailed then the regular ones. Two days later: I showed a denser area with spiculated edges, but no actual nodual. Four days later, biopsy proved cancer. Three weeks: MRIs, PET/CT, histology, etc. and waiting, the affected area that was indented was over 7cm long and 2cm wide. My breast had a very bruised appearance, sat high on my chest wall/immobile, and i had nipple retraction, (my nipple was no longer round it was being 'pulled' out of shape. I had my port put in, and literally was getting the P'eau d'Orange effect over the bruised area (covering 2/3 of my breasts). Every day it was worse, until chemo. After three months of chemo, my breasts looked semi normal. No discoloration, no retraction of the nipple, no itching. I got chemo and Herceptin for a year and a half. Six months into it, I had billateral mastectomies. I still had micrometastacies in the left breast with my sentinel node and three additional lymph nodes positive. I was told that I had a partial response to chemo which is very, very bad prognostically. I had ovaries removed, they said this increases my chance by 3%. I've done accupuncture for the last four years, they say this help 3%. I'm still here. But, just this past summer, they have found stuff on the PET/CT under both of my axilla's. It is growing flat, a single sheet, just like the IBC, I've had two surgical procedures trying to get a biopsy, and the lab reports that there is an insufficient amount of material. I go to Sloan Kettering. So now I wait three months, do another PET/CT, and what? hope it has grown enough for a biopsy...lol. I was told that I had less then a 10% chance for a five year survival. I'm here. It's been just over five years. I like numbers, it's my foot in the door, and that's all the leverage i need to smash it in! Good luck and don't ever get lackadaisical about it. Innately, i think we know when something is wrong.
its interesting how my breasts became so itchy.. i recently just had my period and my breasts were a little swollen like usual, and very tender. but i also got sick, like with the flu. it was kind of bad because it happened so fast, i was home all day for about 3 days and was really tired. however, i started getting well and i noticed my breasts started to itch. it was just on top of my chest, then my whole boob started itching, both of them. its just a sensation inside the boob, like it feels itchy even when im still scratching. my sister said it might be a virus... im thinking maybe its because i was sick. i didnt really take any medication, just drank lots of tea w/honey and lemon. i DID start taking fish oil gells recently, maybe its an allergy to that. could it be because of a sexual want/need? im not sure of anything right now. but please tell me your opinion. thank you.
Ali, itchiness such as you describe, happening in both breasts, is most likely either hormonal, or a systemic reaction to something: perhaps your illness, maybe the fish oil capsules, maybe even a new shower gel or laundry detergent. It wouldn't be anything sexual. And it would be very, VERY unlikely it would have anything to do with breast cancer; itchiness is a rare breast cancer symptom, and it would be rarer still for it to occur in both breasts. So please don't stress about cancer.
I'd suggest you wait a few days and see if the itching abates. If not, then you'd probably want to see a doctor to get some relief. Good luck - PJH
i have been to the doctors and they said that they think its fibro something. but it is very oddly shaped hurts and itches CONSTANTLY. im supposed to have it removed jan 2nd because i refused the biopsy. i figured they arent going to poke me it not be cancer and then it continue to hurt all the time. this is very annoying. but im getting more and more nervous and scared the closer it gets to my surgery date. im thinking about not going through with it. So i guess my question would be.. could it really be cancer? im scared to death to get this surgery
We are not doctors here, so we really can't say how likely it is that what you are feeling is cancer. If your doctors wanted to do a biopsy, then there is a possibility that the problem is cancer. They wouldn't schedule surgery if there was NO chance of cancer. On the other hand, most of the time biopsies find no cancer. The chances of cancer depend on your age, the shape of the tumor, and other factors, but in the end, without actually looking at the cells under a microscope, no one can know for sure. If you are concerned about pain from surgery, a biopsy would be less invasive than surgery to remove the lump. Of course, if the biopsy showed cancer, you would need another surgery to remove the lump. It's normal to be scared of any surgery, but you can get through this. I hope everything checks out just fine. Let us know what happens.
Probably a fibroadenoma - which sounds like what you're describing. What you describe doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, so please try not to worry too much. And having the lump taken out is probably a good idea, given your stress level, so I'd go ahead and do it. Please don't let fear stop you from taking the steps you need to take to feel better. Good luck - PJH
Hello first of all I am not a Doc. However; my mother complained of the same thing. She never got a lump but the itching got to a point that it turned into a rash and the rash got bigger and bigger. To make a long story short she died. It was cancer and to far gone by time she went back to the hospital. See I guess the kind she had nobody believed because they couldn't feel a lump but once the cancer advanced on the outside of the skin it was a dead give away. Becareful and persisted keep nagging this is your life.
Yes... The same thing happend to me with my left breast it was itchy for a while and I didnt think anythink of it but about a month and a half later it had sores and a rash. So yes I would see the dr immidietly...
Was the itching on the nipple or another location on the breast?
Lois, Kat1 wrote her comment in 2009, so she may not be reading this list any longer. A itching on the nipple can be a symptom of Paget's disease and itching in other parts of the breast may be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, but in both cases, other symptoms are also usually seen. The important thing to know is that you need to see the doctor for ANY breast change that lasts longer than a month if you are premenopausal. Older women probably need to check in with their doctors even sooner.
I recommend you seek a second opinion from a dermatologist, the one with complete residency training on dermatology course. A skin biopsy report of the area could give you the answer, or lead the attending physician for any additional needed work-up.
Last Tuesday I noticed a protrusion on by right breast next to my nipple it looke like an addition nipple just not as big. It also had a scab as if it was a sore and some bllood around it.
What could it be
Sounds like a bad bug bite. Keep your eye on it; if it doesn't start to fade within a few days, then you may have a skin infection of some sort, and you should see a doctor. It might be an early sign of a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, though the possibility is unlikely. Still, mention this to your doctor if it gets to the point where you need to see a doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH
Although Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and Paget's disease of the breast are two forms of breast cancer that may include itching as a symptom, it is unlikely a be a symptom of cancer. IBC is associated with other symptoms such as inverted nipple, soreness, swelling or sudden enlargement, aching, swollen lymph nodes under the arm, etc. Paget's usually has the rash around the nipples. You need to see a dermatologist and have a skin biopsy done. This is likely caused from an allergic reaction and it could be a new soap, cosmetic or a new bra. Formaldehyde is often used as a fabric finisher and is considered a probable human carcinogen by the EPA and is also a known allergen. If you stop and think about it you may have purchased a new bra recently or perhaps even switched laundry detergents.
My wife had the same issues. I tried double cycle rinsing in the washing machine. That gave her relief. Then I knew it was the water or the soap not being rinsed good enough. Then I tried washing twice. Once with soap and the second without adding any soap. That gave 4 rinses. That helped even more.
We have hard water here. That's not good either. I installed a water softner to soften the water to get a better rinse. Now she doesn't have that problem any more. She had bump's under her bra strap from the soap mixing with her sweat. That's pretty well gone now too.
Besure your water softner isn't set to high. That'll add salt to. You can check that in the sink. Fill the sink with hot water and rinse out a wash rag. If you see suds in the water, you have it set to high.
Some laundry soaps are pretty harsh and don't rinse well.
Good luck. Do some experimenting on soaps and water hardness.
Oh my gosh thank you so much. I've been itching for 2 weeks and I just got off prednosone. But the itching came back. I did purchase 2 new bras from Victoria Secrets so I'll stop using them. I also have been feeling sick but the unusual thing is that I can't sleep through the night I wake up with a headache and have shortness of breath. I went to the emergency room and had a upper respitory virus. All this stuff came on at the same time it's going on 4 weeks now and it's beginning to affect my quality of life. My energy level is almost nil and i have to lay down frequently or I start feeling faint. I've already exceeded what I can afford because I have a high deductible and I guess I pissed off the insurance cause they just sent me a rate increase. Any ideas on what's wrong with me?
If the itching is in both breasts, this is probably a hormonal issue, or a systemic allergy of some kind, or a reaction to an illness somewhere. We're not doctors here, and can't diagnose illness; unfortunately, this is something you're really going to have to take to a doctor. Ask your hospital or the doctor about setting up a payment plan, if you feel you can't afford treatment; they're usually good about that. Good luck - PJH
I had a deep itch in my right breast, it turned out to be Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. It was not IBC.... I did also have dimples where I was scratching. No redness, No lump. A nurse told me "an itchy breast doesn't me you have cancer" Bullshit.....get checked and don't take no for an answer.
Ali, in fact, the nurse is right - an itchy breast doesn't automatically signal cancer. Breast itchiness can be caused by a number of factors, the least likely of which is probably cancer. So, as far as symptoms go - one size doesn't fit all. That said, I'm glad you were able to get your cancer diagnosed early, and get it taken care o successfully. Thanks for connecting here - PJH
same question about seeing dr. for itchy breast
I have a similar itching issue on both breasts for 3 weeks now.
I'm going to see a breast specialist this week. Scared as I am a nurse
in a breast cancer program and know all the things it could be.
I did want to post and mention for all the ladies out there without insurance.
There is a nationwide program call the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program.
It covers yearly mammograms & breast work up if an abnormalty found on your
clinical breast exam or mammogram along with a cervical/pelvic exam/pap smear.
I am a nurse case manager for this program and if a woman is diagnosed with cancer and has no insurance we put them on medicaid for the duration of their treatment including reconstruction if desired.
You can find it by looking on most state web sites, type in the name of the program and it should tell you how to enroll, or direct you to the health dept running it. We get lots of funding from Race for the cure, so I guess you can see
those dollars really are spent on us women :0)
I hope this helps someone, no one should put off seeking help because of no insurance.
Sara, we often provide this link to information about the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program when people write in with concerns about insurance. It's great to hear from someone who is actually involved in making it work. Thank you for all you do for breast cancer patients.
I hope you get good news when you see the doctor. As I'm sure you are already aware, the fact that this problem is in both breasts makes it less likely to be breast cancer. Of course, no one can say for sure what is causing your itching without more diagnostic steps, but there is a strong chance you will get good news.
Thanks for letting us know more about how Komen dollars are spent and about how women can get help if they are uninsured.
Thank you Phyllis :0)
I hope so, maybe because I case manage all abnormals and see the worse case scenarios daily, it makes it worrisome.
I can't tell you how many women I run into that have never heard of this program, it's great you spread the word here. My hope is someday that all
women will have access to proper screening & to be put out of a job for all the
I am 17 and have 32DDD breasts. For over a year now, both my breasts have been very itchy. First, it started on and around my nipples and now it is spread to the under side of my breasts and in between my cleavage. The itching is uncontrollable and I often break my skin because of it. I have eczema on the inside of my elbow and at first i thought i could have spread it however, i don't think this is it because it doesn't look like eczema. I am mainly worried because I am adopted, so I do not know what I am at risk for (Pagets ect.). I have been using the same laundry detergent, I have correct fitting bras and use the same shower detergent for over a year so I rule out that it could be an allergic reaction. Also if it was an allergic reaction why would it only occur on my breasts? If anyone has any insight it would be much appreciated!! Recently, our insurance has been denied at the family doctor I have been going to for all my life, so I'm trying to do as much as I can for this before it is serious enough to go!
Hi - First of all, you don't need to worry about breast cancer; itching that affects both breasts and lasts for over a year isn't a breast cancer symptom. It sounds like it could be a hormonal issue. Is the itching constant, or does it seem to get worse at certain times of the month? If the itching seems to come and go on a schedule, then that would point to it being tied to your menstrual cycle.
Beyond that, not sure we can help you. We have no medical training here; we're breast cancer survivors, and it sounds like this is a matter for an endocrinologist or dermatologist. Since you're 17, are you still in school? Perhaps you could speak with your school nurse, which would be a free consultation. Barring that, see if you can access help at a community clinic, which should be less expensive than seeing a private doctor. Good luck - PJH
Keep in mind that sometimes people develop allergies to products they have used for a long time, so see if switching to laundry and skin care products designed for sensitive skin helps and be sure to rinse everything very well. Because bras fit so closely on sensitive skin, they are more likely to show irritation than other parts of your body. This article on rashes found in the breast area may be helpful. Because rashes are so hard to diagnose and because using the wrong cream or powder can make a rash worse, you will probably need to check with a doctor if the rash doesn't improve. Talk to your parents. They will know the details about what your insurance will cover and/or other community resources like urgent care clinics that can help you.
My left breast has been annoyingly itchy for the past few months.
There is a small red bump that sort of looks like a bug bite, but it's been there for months.
I've tried all sorts of things.
It's not skin irritation from laundry detergent, since I've tried several different brands.
And I've been tested for allergies before and I was negative for most the most common allergies.
And I am POSITIVE it isn't an actual bug bite.
I've also tried several different brands of moisturizing lotions and creams but nothing takes away the itch and minor swelling.
I'm sort of scared because I don't have insurance, and I don't have a job. And I'm not sure how to find any free health care clinics in this area. But I really think I need to go see a doctor.
Hi - If this was breast cancer, it almost certainly would have developed into something more serious by now - swelling, pain, heat. Please read our post on rashes and other breast symptoms, see if it gives you any guidance as to what this might be. And please call your local hospital, tell them you're jobless and without insurance, and ask them for the location of any free/reduced cost walk-in clinics - they might very well have something on site.
Finally, you might do well to have a mammogram. Please read our post on mammograms for underserved women, paying particular attention to the link for the federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Program - it'll give you guidance on where to go for help in your particular state of residence. Good luck - PJH
i have had an itchy right breast for a couple of months now it isnt constantly itchy and it is just under the breast, but when it does start i cant stop scatching and by the time i have finished it is red raw and sometimes i have made it bleed
Lisa, sounds like you've got some kind of skin condition or allergy. Have you seen a doctor about this? Probably you should, it sounds uncomfortable- PJH
That is what I had, no lump, no redness and itched like crazy.....It was Breast Cancer!!!! (IDC) Geeze, don't tell them it's an allergy, get a mamogram! Have you noticed that Breast Cancer is getting very common. In the past 6 years I know of 14 women who have Breast Cancer! (Itching in one spot is a concern) I know!!!!!
Ali, thanks for your feedback here. Luckily, breast cancer incidence isn't rising, but early detection means more women are identifying it sooner, and are having better outcomes - which is great. I wonder if you just happen to be in the age group where breast cancer starts happening more frequently? That's what I noticed, when I was diagnosed; all of a sudden, it seemed I had a lot of friends with cancer, which made sense - we were all about the same age. Anyway, glad you insisted on finding out exactly what was causing that itch - it may have saved your life. PJH
Hi I was suffering from itchy breats for about 12 months, tried everything from creams to changing my diet, visiting my doctor and natropath regularly hoping that one of them might help me as it was driving me insane. They became to inflamed that I had to take days off work. It then occurred to me that about 15 months ago I stopped taking the pill which I had been on for around 15 years and about 3 months after is when it started. I recently went back to my doctor and asked her to put me back on a low to medium estrogen pill for the purpose of seeing whether it would make a differance. As a result I have no longer got itchy breasts, they cleared up almost immediately, my skin is alot better I only have small patching of dry skin on my back otherwise nothing. I am not about to say that this is a cure but there has to be something in the Loette pill that certainly helped and might I suggest the drop in estrogen after taking the pill for such a long time prior probably was the answer. I am not a doctor but if I can help anyone knowing the pain and suffering that I went through I am happy to share my experience.
Thanks for sharing - while estrogen wouldn't be good for women at high risk of breast cancer, or those who've had estrogen-receptive, doctors now think that a low dose, for a short period of time, can help with menopausal issues. Sounds like it helped your itching, too. PJH
both breast itch bad off and on
Harley, both breasts itching on and off wouldn't be a typical breast cancer symptom; this sounds either hormonal (the "off and on" part), and/or an allergic reaction (both breasts). Have you changed laundry detergent, shower gel, perhaps bought a new bra? Eating any new foods? If this is really bothering you, best to consult your doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH
I wanted to add something to what everyone has said. I have itchy breast on mostly the right side and sometimes both. I do have a little scaly skin on the side of my breast where my bras rubs but have had this for 20 years. I think the itching comes at times when I have a vaginal yeast infection. Does this make sense to anybody?
Perhaps the yeast infection and itchiness are both tied to your menstrual cycle, somehow? It doesn't seem a yeast infection could make your breasts itch, but there might be one root cause that instigates them both... PJH
I have had my right side of my breast very itchy inside and numb outside.. I had a horrid case of the shingles back in august, it lasted over a month and left what I feel to be nerve damage in this breast.. This itchiness has gone on since August, along with aching and pain in my breast and chest (like a lung infection) .. This would make it about 9 months to date that I have been suffering with this pain.. Now my other breast is aching and earlier started to burn inside.. No signs of rashes, except scars left on the right breast cause by the shingles.. Breast cancer does not run in my family, and I believe the only cancer we have had in the family has been my sisters cervical cancer.. I am 42 years old.. Any suggestions outside the obvious fact that I need a mammogram? Thank you kindly for reading me.
Cherie, since your pain and itching started with the shingles, it could well be connected. It can take a long time to get over shingles. After nine months of suffering, though, it is time to go back to make sure that this is indeed shingles-related.
The fact that you are having a similar problem in the other breast makes it less likely that this is cancer, but check back in with your doctor. Most people who get breast cancer do not have a family history of it, so please do not let that fact that cancer is rare in your family lull you into neglecting your mammogram or other health check ups.
I suggest starting with the doctor who treated your shingles and then asking for a referral to a breast specialist if that doesn't definitively identify what the problem is. I hope you are soon feeling better.
Thank you so much Phyllis! <3
what should about my itching breasts
Nancy, click on this link to read more about itchy breasts. Also, go back and read the experiences of other women who have written in about itchy breasts. It is hard to make suggestions without knowing more details about your itching. Most of the time itchy breasts aren't dangerous, especially when the itching is on both sides, but you may need to see a doctor if the itching is severe to get a diagnosis and the proper lotion or cream to help.
I was diagnosed with DCIS in 3/08 after a stereotactic biopsy. I then had a lumpectomy with no further cancer found. In 10/11 I had a diagnostic mammogram that was off of my regular schedule because I was having pain in the same breast (left). Nothing was found in the mammogram other than surgical distortion. Although for the most part the pain is gone, it was replaced with intense itching on the left breast, that still continues. I just saw the nurse practicioner at my gyn office a few weeks ago and she said its probably hormone related. (I had a complete hysterectomy 11/03). Should I still be concerned and request an ultrasound or something else?
Lyn, itching that's gone on for 6 months without progressing into something visibly worse (redness, swelling, pain) would almost certainly not be related to cancer. However, this doesn't mean it's not uncomfortable, and shouldn't be addressed! I'd suggest you ask for a second opinion from a breast specialist; s/he can determine if it's breast-related, or more topical (a skin issue, nerve issue, etc.) If/when someone can figure out what's causing this, you'll find out how it can be treated. Good luck - PJH
Thank you. I saw my GP yesterday. She thinks it might be from the scar tissue. She gave me a steroid/anti-fungal cream to apply and said to take Benadryl. I have to see her again in a week and I'm not sure where we'll go from there if it hasn't responded.
Lyn, that's a good first step. If it doesn't work, she probably has another recommendation. Hopefully the cream and Benadryl will break the cycle of itching and you'll get some relief, but if not, keep persisting; it's worth trying to get to the bottom of this. Good luck - PJH
itching has improved a bit, but not gone. I sometimes get shooting pains through the nipple and my breast seems to be shrinking. I know I worry too much, but this really has me concerned. Should I push for an MRI?
Have they done a new ultrasound and/or mammogram yet? You would want those first. For example, if an ultrasound were to show a cyst, then you might not need the MRI. Also if you are still working with the GP, it might be time to ask for a referral to a breast specialist. Since itching is a major component of the problem, a visit with a dermatologist might also be appropriate. While you are giving the cream time to work (most of these will take more than a few days), it makes sense to continue to investigate with more imaging tests and/or referrals to the appropriate specialists.
Saw the gp again today. She definitely could see the discrepancy in size between the right and left side. She is putting in a stat referral (HMO) for another mammogram as well as a referral to a dermatologist. She said depending on the mammogram, she might then refer me to a breast specialist. She says she won't give up until I have answers and peace of mind.
I'm glad your doctor is going taking this seriously and working to find answers. Keep in mind that there are so many things that can go wrong with breasts, and most of them aren't cancer. Still you need to know what is going on and get treatment to make you more comfortable. Itching and swelling in a breast could be symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), but it would be unusual to have those for six months without progressing to redness, skin dimpling and other IBC symptoms. Scar tissue problems from your earlier surgery might be causing your symptoms. I hope you get answers soon. Let us know what you find out.
hello i am 18 years. i have am annoying itching on my right breast when i take shower, y is it so???
Had another mammogram done and the letter from the breast center stated that it appeared normal. Appointment scheduled with dermatologist at the end of the month (31st). Haven't heard from gp yet regarding her report on the mammogram. Itching comes and goes, but still can be quite intense at times and still experience shooting pains through the nipple. So, just keep plugging along hoping somewhere along the line someone will find some answers.
I hope your GP continues to work with you to find the cause of these symptoms, Lyn. With the combinaiton of pain/itching, and the fact that it's gone on for so long, is anyone looking into some kind of nerve issue? Seems unlikely it would be a skin issue (dermatologist), though it's good to examine every possible avenue. Thanks for staying in touch - let us know what happens as a result of your appointment on the 31st, OK? Take care- PJH
Sounds like you've got an ongoing skin issue of some kind; a rash that comes and goes, and responds to hydrocortisone cream, doesn't match symptoms typically associated with breast cancer. I'd suggest you see a dermatologist to try to get to the bottom of this, OK? Also, I'll ask our IBC/breast rash expert, Phyllis, to add her feedback here; she knows much more about breast rashes than I. Good luck - PJH
The good news is that this doesn't sound like breast cancer because it comes and goes. Also it is on both breasts, and the fact that you have had hard skin on other parts of your body before over the last three years suggests that something other than cancer is causing the problem. Hydrocortisone is for temporary relief of itching and doesn't do much to clear up the underlying cause of a skin condition. It works just fine when the cause of the itching is some sort of irritation or allergy like poison ivy. But you have a chronic skin problem that has some unusual features. I would suggest that you see a dermatologist. They are the doctors who will have the most expertise in recognizing and treating what is causing your problem. Because it seems to be getting worse, go as soon as possible. The sooner the cause can be identified and treated, the sooner you will start feeling better. I'll be interested in knowing what the doctor says. Your information might help someone else with similar symptoms.
Just more reason to see a dermatologist - that's your best course of action. Take care- PJH
One thing I found out about itchy breasts: I was allergic to Victoria's Secret bras. Almost all of my bras were VS, except a few Hanes. Eventually, the itching got worse (over years), and now I have put all the VS bras and underwear into a bag to get rid of. Whenever I have to get into that bag for any reason, my arm that I reach into the bag with immediately starts itching and swelling! When I wear the Hanes, I feel completely itch free. I've read it's formaldahyde in the foam in the VS bras, which are made in China. Some of my non-VS bras that are made in China also itch terribly. Just something to check on and think about...
Lissy, thank you so much for sharing your experience. We often suggest that an allergy might be the cause of itchy breasts, but I hadn't thought that a specific brand of bra could be the problem. Sometimes people are able to tolerate a particular substance for a long time, but later develop an allergy to it. It sounds like that might be what happened to you. I'm glad you were able to figure it out.
Thanks! I've actually since found out I am allergic to the nylon in the bras as well. If anyone needs to know, 100% cotton bras can be ordered from www.Cottonique.com. I'm also finding I'm allergic to milk, which probably didn't help any. It's actually maddening to find so many chemicals in so many things, including our food, clothes, and cosmetics! I've learned to REALLY read labels on everything!
Thanks for the update. I wouldn't have thought about nylon as a possible allergen. It's good that you are finding out what you need to avoid. I'm sure it is very annoying, but it sounds like you are finding good sources of products you can use.
Can I make a suggestion? Instead of asking for advice on a message board why not check with a doctor? Not all cases of cancer are the same and what is the "usual" might not be in your case.
Thank you, Sue, for pointing out the limitations of a message board. No one can diagnose a problem over the internet, not even the best doctors, and the patient experts on this site are not medically trained, just well-read breast cancer survivors. Asking a question on a list like this can give guidance for what type of doctor to consult and what some of the diagnostic possibilities might be. I know that I have sometimes answered a question one way and then reversed my opinion completely when the writer added an extra bit of information in a reply.
Itchy breasts can be just a case of dry skin, which often responds well to home remedies. Especially when the itching is inside just one breast, it can be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer or other serious problems. So reading a message board can offer the experience of others, but it can never substitute for a visit to the doctor.
I'm glad you realize that this is almost certainly not a breast cancer issue; and hopefully your doctor will discover what's causing this itchiness and lump, and get you some relief. It's good that you're being proactive about your health - excellent practice for the future! Be well - PJH
hello, i have had breast issues for the past 2 years. my left breast started being painful after i fell asleep with a bra overnight. A few weeks later i started to feel a pulling sensation followed by a rash that developed around the nipple.My doctor had been abit concerned therefore inspite of me being 30 at the time did a mamogram. it showed no abnormalities. the problem persisted and i have had an ultrasound that has turned up nothing as well. Two weeks ago the itching returned and corticosteriod and antifungal cream has been inffective . he has ordered a U& E for me (whatever that is ) .. Should i be concerned about this......
With no abnormalities showing up on either a mammogram or ultrasound; and with symptoms persisting for at least 2 years, it's almost certainly nothing to do with cancer, and unlikely to be a breast problem, per se; but more likely some kind of systemic hormonal or other issue, that's manifesting itself in your breast. A U & E is usually used to diagnose kidney problems, so not sure what your doctor hopes to gain by administering it; this would be a question you'd ask him/her.
Should you be concerned? Well, concerned enough to follow through with the tests and keep pushing until you get some answers. But concerned about cancer? I'm not a doctor, just a well-read breast cancer survivor; but nothing you describe sounds like a breast cancer symptom, so please don't stress about that. Best of luck - I hope you figure this out soon. PJH
About a week ago my left breast felt like I was have a let down reflex (like I was breastfeeding), I have not breastfeed my son in almost two years. Then a few days later it became really itchy with pain. I am 32 years old. My mother had breast cancer at 38 years old. I am scared and will try and get a doctors appointment Monday or next week. My husband thinks I am nuts! Do you think I have something to worry about.
Thanks! For anyone with information.
With your family history, Ann, you're right to be concerned. But please don't panic; this sounds very hormonal, or nerve-related. It's possible this is an early sign of a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer; but you're very young for breast cancer, and as I said, IBC is rare.
So - you're right to schedule a doctor's appointment. There's no sense waiting and worrying when you can take action and get some answers. If the pain gets worse, or your breast shows signs of infection (swelling, heat, redness), then it would be best to see a doctor ASAP, as you might have mastitis. But if it stays the same (itching and some pain), just see the doctor whenever s/he can schedule you, hopefully the sooner the better so you can get to the bottom of this. Best of luck - I hope you get this resolved soon. PJH
My breast itched and I was nursing at the time and it was, in fact breast cancer.
Annette, thanks for sharing your experience. Itching can be a sign of breast cancer as you found out, so it is always important to see a doctor if simple home remedies do not clear it up within a month. Did you have any other symptoms besides the itching? I hope you and your baby are doing fine now.
Hi Phyllis, It's a long story and actually it's 15 years later. It was not IBF, and it turned out to be dcis, but it was a weird case in that it was all through my breast. I also had a huge lump, in addition to the itching, which I ignored for quite a while, and statistically and from the size of the lump my surgeon prepared me for the worst when I woke up from surgery. It took 3 surgeries after the reconstruction to get clean margins, (we had to do reconstruction twice) because we kept finding more cancer. I actually had duct tissue in my skin - everywhere - but there was no evidence that the cancer had gone beyond the ducts which was seemingly a miracle. The doctors wanted me to do radiation but I would not because I was harboring fears of radiation spread harming other organs of my body, and I wanted to get pregnant again.
The reason I am on this site is because I now have itching again, on the same breast even after mastectomy and with an implant as reconstruction, and 15 years later, both on the surface of my skin and underneath my skin. I will be making an apt. with a new breast surgeon tomorrow. The one I had 15 years ago. left for a bigger job in another state.
People should know that BC is a weird disease that can be slow growing, and is unique to everyone. I personally know of 2 women who died long after thinking they were cured. My neighbor's mother died 30 years later from BC after a double mastectomy, from metastisis to the brain, after thinking she was cured and living symptom free for about 29 years. I also personally knew a mother, still young, who died 18 years after her oricinal diagnosis from metastisis found in the ribs, and then other places. She also lived symptom free for 15 years and 3 months. All wierd but true. So I am now freaking out about the itching I'm having, especially since I did not have the radiation.
Your friends' experiences with metastases years later are the reason why many doctors do not use the word cured to refer to cancer. Many prefer to use a term like NED for No Evidence of Disease, meaning everything looks fine, but there is no way to know for certain. My own oncologist says that 21 years is the longest he's had a breast cancer patient go before a recurrence, so recurrences decades after the original diagnosis are unusual.
I'm glad that you are making an appointment to check out this itching. Keep in mind that it could be scar tissue or other surgery related problems or something else entirely. So try not to panic, but do move quickly to get it diagnosed. Let us know what you find out.
i am about 21/2 months pregnant, and i just started having an itchy sensation on my left breast,and this morning i observed a tiny pimple like bump on the top of my nipple. though 9 years a ago i observed a lump on the left breast of which i had a scan and biopsy for, the result said i dint have cancer, but i had honey comb appearances inside my breast, because i lactate as well on my left breast, still i dont know what to do, should i go for another check up or am i just imagining things or is it hormonal imbalance or what?
Please phil i need ur urgent response
Nipple and breast changes are a part of pregnancy. The pimple-like bump might be a change in one of the glands that surround the nipple to provide oils to protect it when the baby nurses. I'm sure you are not imagining things. You will see more changes as your pregnancy progresses. I would suggest you show your doctor any change that is on just one side. I don't think you need to schedule a special appointment for this. Just show it to the doctor at your next regularly scheduled prenatal appointment. If the area turns red or looks infected, then you would want to see the doctor sooner. I wish you the best as you go through pregnancy.
i am 21/2 month pregnant, i just started having an itchy sensation on the nipple of my left breast, and i also observed a tiny pimple like bump on top of my nipple
I to have really itchy breast use cream didn't seem tohelp I do suffer with calcium deposits does that have anything to do with it nothing seems to work very irritating at times
Jackie, it's unlikely calcifications would have anything to do with an itchy breast. Is the itchiness in both breasts, or just one? Has it started recently, or has it been going on for months? If it's in one breast, and recent, keep your eye on it; if your breast seems infected (red, hot, swollen, painful), then it would be best to see a doctor, as you might need some antibiotics.
If this has been going on for months; and/or it's in both breasts, then it's likely a hormonal issue of some kind, or an allergy. Have you changed shower gels, or laundry detergent? Maybe wearing a bra made from some different material than you're used to? You might want to ask your doctor if anything can be done to relieve the discomfort, but long-standing breast itchiness wouldn't be a typical breast cancer symptom. Hope this helps - PJH
I read all the way down, but maybe not closely enough. So I'm sorry if I'm asking a question that has already been answered!
The inside of my right breast is itchy. It's not the outside where I can scratch it, it's inside so I am helpless and uncomfortable. It also radiates to my shoulder, which is the weirdest part. It feels like the inside of my right shoulder is itchy too, right on the top, where your arm meets your torso/collarbone. Also can't scratch it because it's inside my body. So strange.
(background - age 20, 32 FF/G bra size, have Mirena IUD and have for a while, been on HBC since age 15-16)
Thanks for the help!
Internal itching can sometimes be a symptom of a rare type of breast cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer. You don't say how long this has been going on; with IBC, it usually gets worse fairly quickly, with dimpling of the skin, perhaps redness, pain, heat, swelling, and other external symptoms; in other words, your breast will look infected. It's also constant,not intermittent. So if this is a constant itch; and it gets worse, and your breast seems infected, best to see a doctor to find out what's up. If it's occasional; and it doesn't get worse, then you'd want to speak to a doctor if it's really making you crazy, but it most likely wouldn't be a cancer symptom.
The fact that's in your shoulder, as well as your breast; and your youth (90% of breast cancr diagnoses are in women over 40), points to this not being a cancer issue, so please don't stress. Hopefully it'll resolve on its own soon. Take care- PJH
Thanks so much! I wasn't too stressed, more just curious than anything else. The skin is dimpled, but it's probably just strech marks healing up, it's been that way for ages. It comes as goes, usually. There'll be a day or two when my breast is SUPER FREAKING ITCHY, and others when it isn't at all. I'm not worried about cancer, I was more worried it meant they were growing!
Thanks for your super prompt repsonse, also. You rock.
Cydney, if your skin is dimpled (even though it's been "forever"), I'd still see a doctor at some point; you might have a very long term, low-grade infection of some sort. And if by forever, you mean a couple of months - then get this nailed down sooner. Any breast change that appears and doesn't disappear in several weeks should be checked out, OK? Take care - PJH (a.k.a. the Rock Star)
I went in for a mamogram that i needed a follow up on. AT the follow up she squeezed it so hard i thought my nipple would pop off. the dr came in and was dumb founded.... She said well it spread out and i am not sure it must be breast tissue. i will say its normal and we will follow up in a YEAR!! Really?? My right breast hurts all the time. My under arm feels like my purse is under it even when its not! I lean on a pillow and it is uncomfortable and is always annoying. What should i do? Be worried or wait until its too late????
Debbie, did the radiologist read the mammogram, and say it's normal? If so, your only recourse would be to take the film (or get the digital information), and ask for another opinion from a different radiologist. Explain to your regular doctor (or whoever ordered the mammogram in the first place) the symptoms you're feeling, and that you want to pursue this further. The pain might simply be from the mammogram itself; pain is seldom a breast cancer symptom. But you don't want to just "wait and worry." Action trumps worry any day, so call your doctor and ask about next steps. Good luck - PJH
My left breast has been itching. No rash visbile. Have tried benadry. Hydcrotisone 1% cream w/o relief.
Is there something that I can do? Not really worried about cancer. I just want it to stop itching. skin does not feel dry. Have been putting cream on in case of dry skin.
Hi - Our post on itchy breasts will help you figure out what might be causing this, and what to do about it. If the itching gets worse, or if your breast seems to be getting infected (red, hot, painful, swollen), then you should see a doctor for some diagnosis and treatment, OK? Good luck - I hope the itching clears up on its own soon. PJH
ok so ive been having this itch also on my right breats and its on the inside. I have had the same itch everyday for the past year, and yes it is very annoying, i scratch when i can or when no one is around but it does not do anything because the itch is coming from inside the breast and not the outside. In the begining i thought maybe its because of my bras so i went and continuously bought new ones but that is not the case.
Nothing hurts, just itch all the time, do you recomend i go see a doctor?
Since this sounds quite uncomfortable, yes, I'd recommend you see a doctor. Any itchiness that's been going on for a year or more is unlikely to be a breast cancer symptom, since it would have resolved into something more serious by now. Nevertheless, unless you want to continue dealing with it - why not see a doctor, find out what's causing it, and get some treatment? Good luck - PJH
I am a 33 yr old who has been diagnosed with atypical ductal hyperplasia. i have had a mass removed 3 times from my right breast (2006, 2007, and 2008) now for the past 4 months i have a deep stabbing pain and itching in that same breast very close to my nipple. (right breast only) there is no rash though or flaky skin should i be concerned and see my oncologist about it????
With ADH, you should definitely report any breast changes lasting longer than a month to your doctor, even if you don't think they're a "typical" breast cancer symptom. And since this has been going on for 4 months, best to let the doctor know what's up as soon as possible. While chances are it's NOT cancer, why wait and worry? Find out what's causing this, get it treated if necessary, and move on with your life. Take care- PJH
I have had an itchy left breast for a couple of weeks. I have had over the last 10 to 15 years had regular checkups at a clinic and regularly have cysts that are injected and drained. Have I got reason to be concerned
Marie, unless/until this itchiness turns into something more definite - e.g., your breast seems infected (red, hot, swollen, painful), then it's probably a temporary condition driven by hormones. I'd let it go another week or so; if it doesn't improve - or certainly, if it gets worse - see a doctor. There may be something s/he can prescribe to help you feel more comfortable. And, in the meantime, please read our post on itchy breasts; you may find it helpful. Take care- PJH
If I had waited for my itchy right breast to become red, hot, swollen or painful I would be stage 4 and would have probably died. When it becomes itchy in one spot you should be concerned. I was, and I had Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carsinoma, caught it before it killed me. DON"T WAIT!!!!!!!!!
Ali, when itchiness persists for longer than a month, it qualifies as a breast change; and breast changes should always be checked by a doctor. Glad you caught your cancer at stage 1, which thankfully is very treatable. PJH
I have extreme itching on both breasts sometimes more severe than at other times. What do you think it could be and do I need to see a doctor?
Hi - Itching in both breasts is almost always an allergic reaction, or a hormonal issue. It would be very unusual for it to have anything to do with breast cancer. Please read our post on itchy breasts for lots of good information about whether/when to see a doctor about this. Take care- PJH
hello this itch is not cancer it maybe a fugus from the air or the bra i've have that same itch i would sratches until my breast were sore i told my doctor she like at my breast and prescribe me a cream help me a lot its called(TRIAMCINOLONE ACETONIDE CREAM 0.5%) and i also do a mamagram once a year. i am 41 years young this the same cream that i use on my oldest son when he was 10 years old now that he is 25 he had something on his skin looked like acide but it wasn't he's doctor said; it worked well all these years now i am use n it. hopefull this help.
Thanks for your input here, Barbara Ann - PJH