Has anyone else got cellulitis in their breast?

HI all

Has anyone? I had a massive infection which was treated by antibiotics first as an outpatient then as an inpatient for 72hrs. I probably got out a little too early as I was going on holiday, and took huge doses of antibiotics for weeks.

In the end they messed with my digestive system so much and made me feel do wiped out that I stopped, but it is feeling sore again.

It never got fully better. Wonder if it ever will and whether anyone else has to live with this ‘side effect’, wondering when it’s going to bubble up into a serious infection and potentially something more serious.


Hi there,
Only time for a quick reply, sorry, have to go to work. I’ve had terrible problems with recurrent celluititis in my arm due to lymphoedema in my arm and I have posted about it in the lymphoedema thread.
You don’t say whether you have lymphoedema but I wonder was this a factor in your cellulitis?
What symptoms and signs do you have following the cellulitis?
Rowena x

Hi Rowena

I do have mild lymphoedema, in my arm and hand and also oedema in my breast. It is pinker and warmer than the other one, swollen and sore. I gave up the antibiotics about a month ago as they didn’t seem to be doing any good and I felt terrible on them. And my breast surgeon said then that it was rads damage not cellulitis, but my lympho nurse says it is cellulitis.

Breast is feeling harder and the whole area, down my side and the top of my arm is sore, so on Sunday I started the antibiotics again, but I feel horrid already! In general, I have not felt so well in over a year (since pre-dx/surgery/chemo/rads/tamox)and I was enjoying feeling well.

I rang my bcn today and she said to come to the onc’s clinic on Thursday so I will, hopefully he will see me!

If I’m honest, I was hoping for it to get much worse much more quickly and to go back into hospital to finally get rid of it. I feel like I can’t cope with heavy antibiotics as an outpatient, partly because I don’t really get any rest as I have children aged 3 and 5 and work full time in a stressful job. It feels terrible to wish myself into hospital, but that is the truth.

Have you had intravenous antibiotics for yours?


I’ve got it. My GP diagnosed it last Weds and I started on antibiotics, and got him to increase the dose on Friday. It’s a bit better, but still red, swollen and uncomfortable. I have to be careful turning in bed. It’s over the whole breast area that my bra covers. I tried going without my bra today but it hasn’t made much difference. The area of my segmental mastectomy (done 8 weeks ago) is hard.
I’m seeing my consultant tomorrow (planning mx and recon) so I’ll see what he says.
Good to know I’m not the only one, but I wonder what’s next . I’ve had cording and seroma… I’ll let you know what he says if you like.
River x

Hi everyone! I would love to know what it actually is! I also have a very swollen/red/hot and now bruised breast. This is the 5th time this has happened since my lumpectomy/chemo/rads finished last November, although this time I don’t think there is an infection. I am going to see my breast nurse tomorrow and also the oncologist on Friday as I am having pretty bad side effects with the arimidex. All in all life is pretty difficult at the moment and I am having a lot of pain especially round my ribs and underarm area. joy! -things can only get better,sorry I just needed to rant. Would appreciate any advice or comments, best wishes susieque.

Hi all

Just wanted to recommend a couple of sites

lymphoedema.org/lsn/ (this is the home page of the Lymphoedema Support Network) where there is a link to:


…which is the consensus document on the management of cellulitis produced jointly by the LSN and British Lymphology Society. It could be worth printing it off and showing it to your GP/BCN/ONC/lympho nurse, etc.

Also, w x 3 dot stepup-speakout dot org has lots of info on celluititis and breast lymphoedema and also the reasons behind why it is becoming more and more common (interesting).

Hope you’re all progressing in the right direction soon.



Hi Kinden,

I’ve had cellulitis several times but it has always responded quickly to oral antibiotics so I have never needs intravenous.

I didn’t have radiotherapy but I can imagine perhaps it is difficult to tell the difference between the radio effects and infection. But I would have thought it the area is warm/hot it is more likely to be infection?

There are blood tests which you onc might suggest which might help differentiate. Your white cells often go up in infection but would not be up with the after-effects of radio. Also your CRP and ESR would be raised in infection but not radio effects.

I am on long term preventative antibiotics one dose every day - but despite that I have had 3 episodes in the last 4 months.

It is the bane of my life!

I would also recommend the links that Bahons has posted.

Good luck with getting it sorted.


The websites are useful, thanks. I don’t have lymphodema but the consultant confirmed cellulitis. The antibiotics are making a slow improvement in that the area isn’t so hot and angry, but it’s pretty red and uncofortable still. He said I’ve had all the side effects/problems - seroma, cording, cellulitis and what I think must be a haematoma. He aspirated some blood which has gone off to the labs for analysis. What next?!