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Monday, March 01, 2010 Concerned, Community Member, asks

Q: I have a redish purple mark on my left breast

I have been on antibiotics for 10 days now and it's still there, if I hold it between my fingers it's not a round lump but rather flattish and miss shaped, do you think this calls for concern?

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/ 1/10 11:52am

Hi - What does your doctor say? If you've discussed the (remote) possibility of inflammatory breast cancer with him/her, and feel comfortable with the reply, then carry on. If you're not comfortable, ask for a referral for a second opinion. IBC is often very hard to diagnose; and really, it's all about how much you trust your doctor to be doing the right tests to diagnose what this issue is. Good luck - PJH

Concerned, Community Member
3/ 4/10 4:59am

I saw my doctor yesterday after the ultrasound, the radiologist suggested I see a dermatologist as the mark might be something else.  It measures 12.6mm X 12.9mm and is 2.6mm thick.  He says there is however a large vein which runs immediately below the lesion superficially in the subcutaneous layer, not sure what this all means.  Prominent lymph node is present in left axilla measuring 21.9mm in long axis and 8.7mm in short axis, don't know if that is normal.


My doctor asked one of the other doctors for a second opinion he suggested she rather remove it and send it to a lab. 

Could you please tell me what you make of this ultrasound. 

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/ 4/10 5:16am
It sounds like your doctors are being proactive about finding out what this is. It doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer. Since it is small enough to remove, that sounds like a good option, and then you will get a definitive diagnosis when the pathology report comes back. I hope you get good news. Reply
Concerned, Community Member
3/ 4/10 5:26am

I also thought this is best, I cannot let this go and be concerned everyday. I have been getting funny pains in my breast since Tuesday, it's like a prick in my nipple area, so I will rather have it removed and play it safe, my mother died from cancer at the age of 34 so I'd rather have it done although it wasn't breast cancer. Thank you so much for your input in helping.

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/ 1/10 6:22pm
If this is a small mark like a pimple or boil, then let your doctor know that the antibiotic isn't working and get some ideas about next steps. If the reddish/purple area covers a larger area, then I think you should be concerned enough to ask for a biopsy or a referral to a breast specialist. As PJ mentions, a rash that doesn't respond to antibiotics can be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Usually IBC would present with swelling, pain, skin dimpling, and other symptoms, so I don't think you need to panic about this, but you do need to be assertive about getting a diagnosis. Reply
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By Concerned, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/23/10, First Published: 03/01/10