I am a 52 year old female that had a lumpectomy for DCIS two years ago. I had radiation treatment and am now taking tamoxifen. On friday I had my yearly diagnosic digital mammogram. The radiologist stated that nothing has changed since last time. They are very through at this hospital. I also had an MRI (to check on things) which have not heard the results back as of yet. On Sat. the day after my mammogram I woke up to a red, painful, warm to the touch breast (the same one as the lumpectomy). They did compress this breast a bit harder than previous mammograms. Today my breast looks better but looks like it has a rash on it...it's just pink and does not look as inflamed. Could this be IBC or maybe an infection due to the mammogram? I have a call into my breast surgeon but they have not called me back. Since I am taking tamoxifen I thought my breast cancer risk was much lower of a return of the cancer. Am I correct? I am worried! Thank you!
Dear Carol in Pittsburgh, Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a rare type of breast cancer accounts for only 1 to 4 percent of all breast cancers. It is called inflammatory because the symptoms are usually a redness and warmth in the skin of the breast, often without a distinct lump. It can be mistaken for an infection and initially be treated with antibiotics. IBC would not get better on the antibiotics, and symptoms would be unlikely to resolve on their own within a day or two. The skin on the breast like anywhere else on the body is susceptible to rashes/irritations etc. It is not possible to say what this is without benefit of further questioning and physical examination. However, as these symptoms have appeared so immediately after the mammogram it may well be related and should continue to improve the further you are from the mammogram. Your surgeon will be able to assess this better for you
Have you contacted your doctor about this incident yet? I had this happen to me also. It turned out to be a ruptured milk duct. The compressions from the mammogram was extremely hard. I had DCIS inside the ducts which poured out once the rupture happened. Very painful, swollen, and red but no fever. Mammograms can cause trauma to the breast if the compressions are severe. Please have your doctor to atleast check this out just in case you have more DCIS because it could cause invasive cancer if the ducts rupture. Hope all is well and hope this gets better.
Thank you both for replying. Thank God for this forum. I am very upset because my breast surgeons nurse has not called me back yet. I've made three attempts to call them and was assured that she would call me back. It's three days later and still no call back. I go to a good reputation woman's hospital in Pittsburgh and my breast surgeon is one of the top in his field. You would think that given my symptoms and my previous DCIS that they would have taken this more seriously. My breast looks about 85% better now...not red, a little pink and not hurting or swollen. I had my mammogram the day before this all started. I would think if I had DCIS it would have shown up on the mammogram or MRI that was taken. Maybe someone could answer this further for me if this could be true of my case.
Dc bell, how long did it take before your breast looked and felt better?
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