Q. I felt a lump under my arm, in the area of my armpit, not in my breast. So that means I don’t have to worry about breast cancer, right? A. Wrong. Your breasts don’t begin and end right there front and center on your chest; breast tissue can actually stretch up under the arm. In addition, there are a number of lymph nodes in your armpits that, when swollen, are a sign your body is fighting an infection… or cancer. Previous Breast Cancer Symptom: Dimpled Skin Next Breast Cancer Symptom: Swelling and Hot Sensation
Q. My breast swelled up and was hot and painful to the touch. My doctor treated me for mastitis, but it turned out to be inflammatory breast cancer. I think other women should be aware that not all breast cancers start with a lump. A. That’s right. Inflammatory breast cancer does look a lot like mastitis, an infection of the breast that can have many causes. Mastitis is more common when you’re breast-feeding; and some women have a lifelong proclivity to bouts of mastitis. But if you’re experiencing a swollen, hot, painful, red breast for the first time, ask your doctor to carefully consider inflammatory breast cancer, and to test for it. Previous Breast Cancer Symptom: Lump Under Arm Back to Start of Illustrated Symptom FAQs
Education is a wonderful thing, but too much knowledge can be frightening. Back in the days when no one had heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), a red spot on the breast that looked like a bug bite didn't worry anyone. Of course, some women died because they didn't check with their doctors, but most of the time that bug bite cleared up in a few days.
Now many women have seen a TV news story about IBC in which two patients described their initial symptoms as looking like bug bites, and they write or call in panic afraid they have cancer. I talked to one frightened woman on a toll-free IBC line where I volunteer from time to time. As we talked, it turned out that she had just returned from a camping trip and had mosquito bites on her breast.
Others have Googled a description of their rash and gotten hits for breast cancer along with a world of panic. The breasts are subject to all kinds of rashes, most of which are not dangerous, so how can you tell what you have and when to c...
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