I am currently waiting for a breast MRI. Two doctors felt a lump in my left breast in may 2009. Mammo and U/S were negative. In the past two weeks, my left breast has become swollen and sometimes sore. There are also what looks like varicose veins on the outer side. I had a swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck last month, which is now less pronounced, but still there. An U/S done yesterday showed enlarged milk ducts ( I have been lactating from both breast, without elevated prolactin levels, for the past year.) My doc also mentioned a cyst and what may be a fibro adenoma ( this was biopsied in 2005.)
Are there any other known conditions that would cause my breast to swell so suddenly? Thanks for your help!
BTW- i am 39, white, had thyroid cancer in 1997, have a Pituitary adenoma and an adrenal adenoma that are non- functioning. My mother died at age 54 of breast cancer, her only symptom was a swollen left breast. She was stage 4 when diagnosed (1989) She lived three years...
Hi – A swollen breast could be due to an infection, such as mastitis. Or it could be from a cyst or fibroadenoma, as you mention. It could be that your lymph system on the left side is impaired, which would result in your breast swelling; and since you’re already having lymph issues on the left, this could very well be the case.
A swelled breast can also be the sign of a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer. With your mother having died from breast cancer, you’re at increased risk; so be sure to mention IBC to your doctor, OK? You need to rule that out. Good luck – hope the MRI goes well for you. PJH
Thank you PJ! I am trying to stay positive, but i am anxious to have the MRI. My breast surgeon is moving quickly and she mentioned IBC yesterday. I do not have reddness or rash, just the new veins. I have a slew of strange endocrine issues, and I am trying to see if there are any that may cause this, however, all I am finding is IBC. I appreciate your help so very much!
As you no doubt know, IBC is very rare indeed - so hopefully this is all due to a lymph issue, or something else not-so-serious. Please stay in touch, OK? I'm sending you positive energy- PJH
Do you know if IBC was identified in 1989? I have only heard about it recently, but now wonder if that may be what my mother had. I have a vivid memory of sitting on her bed as she dressed, and she noted that her left breast was larger. That was her only symptom, and a mammo two weeks prior to this and another after she noticed the enlargement were negative.
Yes, IBC is not a new form of cancer. It has been known by that name since the first half of the twentieth century and was first described in the 1800's. Nevertheless, it has frequently been misdiagnosed because of its relative rarity. So it's impossible to know now whether your mother's breast cancer was IBC. There doesn't seem to be a hereditary component to IBC, so whether your mother's breast cancer was IBC would not have an influence on whether your breast problems might be caused by IBC. As PJ says, there are other hormonal and lymphatic system issues that could be causing the swelling. So hope for the best and be proactive about getting all the tests required to find out for sure what is causing the swelling.
Thank you so very much too! I am going focus on remaining positive and waiting for my tests. I am so grateful that I found this site and that the two of you took the time to answer. My MRI is scheduled for Tuesday, sooner if they have a cancelation. I will update here if I have any news. Thanks again...
Have you found anything out about your condition? I am in the exact same situation as you and still trying to find out what has caused the swelling, which, still hasn't gone away. My swelling began in September. Thanks. Hoping you are OK.
My mother at age 97 about 2 months ago her left breast suddenly swelled up about 4 time the normal size, she has no pain or redness but it's very hard and at her age she will not be getting any test done, any suggestion as to what could cause this? Her right breast is normal no swelling at all.
Without pain, redness, or other worsening symptoms, this doesn't sound like anything related to breast cancer, thank goodness. But we're not medically trained here; and we really couldn't tell you what might be causing this, unfortunately. Is she resistant to tests, or are you? Has she seen her regular family doctor? Perhaps s/he could make a preliminary diagnosis, one that didn't involve any invasive tests... Best of luck to you - PJH
Thanks for your input she does not want to have any invasive test done and I agree she is 97 and not in the best of health, she does have the redness and it is warm, but it does not pain her, yes she saw her doctor and she said it was a mass but could say nothing more without test being done and that would be too much for her. Thanks for your response - Sad and Confussed
I wonder if a simple course of antibiotics would be an option? Since it's red and warm, this might be an infection that could be treated without any invasive procedures... PJH