I Just Had A Mammogram And Sonogram To Both Breasts And Was Told Everything Was Fine.

Question

Asked by patmarietta8

I Just Had A Mammogram And Sonogram To Both Breasts And Was Told Everything Was Fine.

I am a 51 year old- NOT nursing woman. Three days later, I developed Mastitis of the right breast. I do have inverted nipples- all of my life. I was treated with antibiotics and the Mastitis seems to be resolving- although it still seems more lumpy than usual. After 5 days of treatment with the antibiotics, I was seen again and a repeat sonogram was done. The nurse seemed concerned because there were dark masses and that she was not sure if they were cancer or not. I was told to finish the first round of antibiotics and then start a second round of a different antibiotics and to return to see her in 2 weeks time. I talked to the nurse and said that given my mammograms and sonograms from 10 days ago were fine- how could it be possible that now it could be cancer. I am also mystified how I developed Mastitis 3 days after the sonogram. Any opinions would be welcome. The nurse did say that she wants to keep following me to make sure that it is not cancer.

Answer

Although it is unusual, sometimes non-nursing women do develop mastitis. However, when a non-nursing woman has apparent mastitis, an alert doctor also needs to consider the possibility of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Currently best practices call for a biopsy to rule out IBC if one round of antibiotics does not resolve the mastitis. You are in an in-between situation because your symptoms responded to the antibiotic, which theoretically does not happen with cancer. However, I have been in contact with women over the years who had a partial response to antibiotics, who were eventually diagnosed with IBC. Although mammograms for IBC patients often show skin thickening, increased density, or changes in symmetry, because most IBC patients don't have a lump, it is hard to diagnose IBC from mammograms or ultrasounds.

In addition to the basic article about IBC linked above, here is a link to my personal IBC story. Read more about IBC and see if your symptoms and experience match up. If so, ask for a referral to a breast specialist to see if you need a biopsy right away, or if you can wait to see what happens with the second antibiotic. IBC is rare, but please be proactive about getting a proper diagnosis.

Answered by Phyllis Johnson