One Of My Breasts Has Suddenly Grown Larger. Could This Signal Cancer?

Question

Asked by Nikki46

One Of My Breasts Has Suddenly Grown Larger. Could This Signal Cancer?

My left breast has become larger than the right, and this happened within just a couple of days. I don't see any rashes, discoloration, or nipple discharge or change, only that the left breast is much larger. I've had a couple of biopsies in the past -; could this be related?

Answer

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is one possibility for a sudden change in your breast. With IBC, cancer cells clogging the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast cause swelling, redness, pain, and often dimpled skin (the texture of orange peel).

One small study at the Mayo Clinic found that scar tissue from previous surgery can have the same effect, so your history of biopsies may be a factor. Infections like cellulitis and mastitis can also cause swelling, although usually with reddened skin.

Sometimes a cyst develops in your breast. While not dangerous, when a cyst is large enough it can become painful, and make it appear your whole breast is swollen. Cysts can easily be identified via an ultrasound, so this may be a test your doctor orders when you see him or her.

Whatever the possible causes, you need to see your doctor ASAP. Most IBC patients present with more than one of the IBC symptoms, so I think it's too early to panic about this being cancer. However, a sudden change in just one breast needs to be checked out. Good luck -  I hope this resolves soon.

You should know

Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition.