January 12, 2007, Newsletter Issue #48: An Inflamed Breast Might be Cancer

Tip of the Week

If your breast is red, swollen, and hot to the touch, it could be a breast infection called mastitis. It could also be a rare but dangerous form of breast cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer, as the condition is called, affects the breast differently than other breast cancer forms. It does not often begin with a lump or tumor, but rater cancer cells grow rapidly and invade the lymph nodes. This causes a blockage leading to a red, swollen breast. It can sometimes resemble mastitis on physical appearance.

However, if you notice inflammation in a breast, make an appointment with the doctor right away and be sure to ask about inflammatory breast cancer and information about breast cancer diagnosis. Your doctor may feel strongly that mastitis is to blame for your symptoms, but if you are not sure, you can consider asking for additional testing.

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