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Thursday, June 05, 2008 mruss, Community Member, asks

Q: my left breast itches all the time

i had a breast reduction 12 years ago and recenlty my left breast itches all the time around the nipple and i have no feelinf there but there is no rash or redness

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/ 5/08 5:05pm

M, an itchy breast is very rarely a sign of breast cancer. It could be a VERY early sign of a rare breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer; but probably unlikely. However, if it's bothering you, best get it checked out to set your mind at ease. Good luck - PJH

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Bachor67, Community Member
5/25/10 3:51pm

Okay, what about NO breast reduction surgery and an itchy left breast?  Why is it probably unlikely that it is IBC?  I only get one mammogram each year, so I have to wait until August I think to get it checked out.  Do you have any more info?

Thank you,

Kelly Bachor

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
5/25/10 5:12pm

Unlikely because IBC is a VERY rare condition. Itching breasts most likely stem from any number of other issues, such as a new laundry detergent, new bra, too much swimming in a clorinated pool, etc. If you have IBC, it'll quickly turn into something very noticeably wrong; your breast will become red, painful, and swell up; it may also have a dimpled appearance. So, if the itching gets much worse; or you have any of the above symptoms, you may have an infection, or possibly IBC; and you should see a doctor ASAP if that happens. Otherwise, see if changing soap, wearing different clothes, or anything else helps. Good luck - PJH

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patti bradfield, Community Member
5/25/10 10:15pm

PJH is very right.  Read up on the symptoms of IBC and know that a mammogram 'rarely' sees this condition that 'rarely' has a lump.  Anything out of the ordinary that doesn't go away within a short time, you need to have a doctor familiar with breast issues check you out.  

Patti Bradfield, President

The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation

www.eraseibc.com

 

http://www.thruoureyes.org/ibcshow.html

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SF, Community Member
11/19/10 2:26pm

New question about this, because I did suspect detergent at first. But, I washed the bras out several times with no detergent and line dried. This has been going on for several months. It's just the one breast, and you'd think if allergic skin response, it would be both breasts. The itch starts at my nipple and goes in toward my sternum, it's driving me nuts but embarrassing to itch! And I just had a mammo this summer; I do realize that mammo's do not show IBC, there really isn't anything visual to see really, I've looked. And, my GYN isn't a breast specialist, and I doubt my HMO would let me see one if he didn't think I should see one. 

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taj, Community Member
11/30/10 11:49am

I have very similar symptoms and I have no insurance.... At our local center for breast health there is a lady that works with the Susan G Koman Foundation... She has been phenomal! Your HMO most likely supports a second opinon and that is what I recommend. IBC gets bad quick so go in asap. I called today and have a biopsy tomorrow.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/30/10 12:14pm

Glad you found some financial help, and are getting this diagnosed. Best of luck - hope you get good results. PJH

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Dixie, Community Member
2/14/11 11:00pm

I just had a mammogram in Dec.2010 and now I have an itchy nipple and it is really sore my Dr, has ordered another Mammogram he gave it a name that it could be cancer but hopefully not I don't remember what he called it but it is worrying me now. I try and not scratch it but sometimes just have to but it is to sore to the touch what do you think it could be??

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/15/11 6:56am

The doctor is probably ordering the mammogram to try to rule out a type of cancer called Paget's Disease of the Breast.  The Paget's form of breast cancer usually has a scaly rash on the nipple that looks like eczema.  It sounds like your doctor is being proactive to make sure no serious problem is missed.  There is still an excellent chance that this will be eczema, dry skin, or some other skin condition that is not dangerous.  Let us know what you find out.

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Jo, Community Member
2/ 7/11 3:45pm

My left breast itches only around and on the nipple. The nipple is very sensitive.  My left breast has always been larger than the right breast. It doesn't appear to be swollen although it feels heavy but there is no rash.  Why the left breast on most women and not the right?  I'm scheduled for a mammogram next month but that's not going to detect anything with the nipple so what's next?

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
2/ 7/11 5:16pm

Hi - Please read our post on nipple issues; it should give you good information about what this itching might be, and whether/when to speak to a doctor about it. Basically, if it's been going on for longer than a month, and seems to be getting worse, you should see a doctor sooner than your mammogram appointment. If your GP can't identify what's causing the itch and tenderness, ask him/her to refer you to a breast specialist to find out what's causing it, and how it can be treated. Good luck - PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
2/ 7/11 5:21pm

Nipple itching and a scaly rash can be signs of a type of breast cancer called Paget's Disease of the Breast.  If you have been having this itching for a long time, it is probably dry, sensitive skin, and not cancer, which would be getting progressively worse.  Since your breasts are different sizes, your bra doesn't fit exactly the same on both sides, which could lead to chafing and rubbing.  If you do develop a rash, call the doctor right away.  Otherwise, mention this when you have your mammogram.  

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By mruss, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/05/14, First Published: 06/05/08