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Breast/inflammatory breast cancer worries

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13 posts since

27 Nov 2019

Hi, 

im just looking for a bit of general advice/information 

2 months ago I started getting chest pain below my left breast which has spread and now effects my upper breast/chest area, under arm, shoulder and back. I was told it was most likely muscular however it doesn’t seem to be getting better it goes away then comes back and can appear anywhere within/around my left breast area sometimes sharp stabbing sometimes dull aching.

i wasn’t overly worried about breast cancer as had a check with practice nurse in December as I have lumpy boobs and wasn’t sure how I would be able to feel for any lumps anyway that was all fine she agreed on lumpy boobs but said nothing felt abnormal and the lumpiness is just how my boobs are after discussing it with my sister turns out she has the same! So again no worries   

chest/breast pain on left side has continued and my health anxiety is now through the roof I can’t stop googling (I know I shouldn’t) from what I’ve read pain doesn’t usually show as the first breast cancer symptom however I’ve been reading about inflammatory breast cancer and it’s terrified me! I noticed I have a discoloured pack of skin on my left breast I don’t think it’s red just looks like a slightly darker shade than my normal skin tone now this patch I have had for well over a year I think I’m sure I first noticed it in 2018 and just brushed it off I didn’t know about IBC back then, my boob also can get quite itchy again I’ve brushed this off as I have stretch marks to the upper outer area of my boobs and quite often they get itchy, my most recent is a sore nipple not all the nipple just a tiny area that seems “nippy” if I touch it or my bra rubs it but I can’t see anything at all that suggest irritation etc my boob isn’t red or swollen and the skin doesn’t feel any different I have a referral for a mole and was going to see if the dermatologist would ***** this discoloured patch at the same time but unsure if this can be done or is the best way to have it checked I should mention that it’s never gone away and come come back nor has it gotten any bigger or darker it’s just there and has been for a while I think but can’t be completely sure that it first appeared when I was pregnant 

 as my health anxiety is really bad I’m just looking for peoples experience on the first symptoms they had with breast/ IBC everything I have read should be enough to put my mind at ease at least until I can ask dermatology about it but these are just statements on medical pages and not peoples life experiences and I find that quite often not everyone has the sings and symptoms these pages say are common and this really gets my anxiety going 

ive been to the gp so much lately with so many health concerns I don’t want to keep bothering them with my worries 

21 posts since

23 Feb 2020

Can’t reply in full but you’re never wasting their time.  That’s their job.  Please call the gp and be seen they’ll soon reassure you. 

Also suffer anxiety as you would worrying over cancer.  

1441 posts since

9 Mar 2011

Hello and thanks for your post

I’m sorry you are worried about developing inflammatory breast cancer.

I’m afraid no one here on the forum can tell you what is the matter.If your symptoms do not improve it’s best to be checked out just to be on the safe side, so do make an appointment to see your GP.They will do a breast examination.  Depending on what they think they may refer you to the breast clinic. This might seem alarming but the majority of women who are referred to the breast clinic for further assessment do not have breast cancer

Try not to worry too much, the majority of breast cancers is much more common in postmenopausal women. And inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is very rare.

If you can, try to stop googling your symptoms as the information online is general and not specific to you. It cannot replace the information that a doctor can give a person after a medical assessment.

If you’ve not already done so,it would be a good idea to also speak to your GP about your health anxiety.They may be able to refer you to local support services to help manage it

I hope you know more about your situation soon. Give us a ring if you want to talk things through. The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

Kind regards,

Celene

159 posts since

14 Jul 2019

Hi hun. I feel for you and understand what you are going through. Can I ask what age you are? I am 33 and I have chronic health anxiety for 14 years now!! It is so difficult to live with such bad anxiety and to always think you are ill and that the doctors are missing something all the time. I also have lumpy breasts which I find so hard to deal with!! I have been to the breast clinic 3 times in the 2 years as I become fixated on lumps and convinced the doctors are wrong! Im really trying to accept that my breast lumps are whats normal for me but its difficult. I also have experience with inflammatory breast cancer as my mum has it. Her getting it 14 years ago is actually what started my health anxiety. She beat it back then but its back now and cant be cured. What I will say is that mums symptoms were very obvious. Her breast was very red, swollen, rock hard, inverted nipple etc. Its something that spreads fast and makes big changes to the breast. Its also extremely rare aswell so please dont worry about it. Trust me, ive convinced myself ive had it a few times since mum got it. Ive actually had big red marks on my breast that lasted over a month and I was in a mess convinced it was ibc. Health anxiety is tough, im always here if you need to talk. Iv just seen your recent post about your partner. I hope he is okay, it seems like they arent worried and I bet theres alot of non sinister things it could be. Try and stay off google and keep busy while you wait for his results. Hugs xx

13 posts since

27 Nov 2019

Hi, thank you so much for your reply! Health anxiety is awful it takes you form a-z so quickly without rationalising everything in between! 
I believe mine began after I lost my second baby who only had half of her heart and CDH we were told this was extremely rare so rare that they couldn’t give us statistics on the recurrence rate! And I guess since then I’ve been totally convinced that rare things happen to me and I just can’t shake that feeling of dread and fear of something being wrong! The mark on my breast has been there since 2018 and never changed everything I’ve read about ibc says it develops quickly but my anxiety just can’t accept that! I’m 27 my doctor keeps saying I’m too young to have certain things and it really frustrates me you hear of all these people who end up with illnesses so young, have had so many chats with my sister turns out we both have many of the same health issues and have done for years like lumpy boobs etc so I’m assuming some things are just genetic for us but my sister is the opposite of me it freaks me out that I might miss a lump etc so I check every other week and she says she can’t bear to check hers because they are lumpy and it freaks her out so she avoids it, needless to says she’s had a right good telling off! 

ive has so many issues recently convinced I’ve had so many awful health problems but strangely since my partner has been thrown in the deep end my anxiety hasn’t been as intense, I’ve been trying to be positive for him reassuring him etc however I did say bone cancer is rare and his reply was rare things happen to us! And I completely understand why he thinks that way and really didn’t have anything else to say to him after he said that.

i hope your mum is doing ok such a strong woman overcoming it first time round, hopefully even though it’s not curable this time they find something that works for her to give her the best possible outcome, breast cancer runs in my family and I had 2 great aunts who both were terminal yet lived for many many years and as far as I know neither off them died because of the cancer they were both old (but weren’t at the time of diagnosis) and even though the cancer might have contributed to them becoming more frail etc it didn’t consume them so fingerscrossed for you mum! X 

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