is it something more serious?

Hi everyone,

I apologise in advance as this may be a bit long winded, I have a tendency to ramble.

I suppose Ive found myself here just for some reassurance, advice, thoughts of others with similar experiences and their outcomes. To be honest I’m not really sure.

Around 2 weeks ago, I noticed my left breast felt really heavy (I have a lump on this breast behind the nipple which was previously checked around a year ago and deemed benign) and tender as the days went on I noticed my breast was visibly swollen and much larger then the other, verging on painful and my nipple was looking a bit inverted, each day it got progressively worse and a nasty redness started to appear and every day after that I noticed another change in my breast, fast forward a week and my breast is huge, swollen, red/pink, sore rather than just tender, my nipple has gone and I have what feels like a patch of thickened skin on one side. So off I go to the gp who diagnoses an infection but says she will refer me to breast surgeons for further investigation…‘just incase it doesn’t clear up’.

My symptoms are completely typical of a mastitis type infection, despite not being pregnant or having breast fed for a number of years, so off I went with my prescription for quite a high dose antibiotics, with the advice to call her back if symptoms worsened or there were any other changes.

That night I all of a sudden had the feeling I had something under my arm, put my hand under and felt two lumps. I won’t lie, at this point my stomach dropped, however I gave myself a talking to and decided it was a perfectly natural reaction for glands to swell with a nasty infection, however I decided I’d give the dr a ring in the morning just to inform her of the change.

When I rang she asked me to go in so she could have a look, confirmed it was lymph nodes and that yes, if I had an infection this was the likely cause of their presentation. She checked my breast again and said it felt hot and looked more inflamed today than yesterday…another day, another ‘symptom’ to add to my growing list…hot!

Ive now been taking the antibiotics for 5days and if anything my breast is worse. Redness is spreading, it’s still awfully painful, my nipples changed Colour and I have an orange peel like texture/look to certain parts.

By this point, Ive been googling non lactational breast infections/abscess & I’m aware of IBC.

My referral has been sent as urgent, but, I’m also aware its super rare, and symptoms present almost identically to an infection, so I’m really grateful my dr is being cautious and doesn’t want to be missing anything but also a bit dubious as to the urgent referral going in prior to even commencing antibiotics.

I’m still almost positive that what I have is an infection, as I’m in a fair bit of pain, nothing Ive read says that IBC is painful, it’s mainly described as tender? And obviously, IBC is very rare.

Am I clutching at straws?

I suppose my other concern is if it’s an infection it’s a pretty damn bad one and not going away with oral antibiotics, shouldn’t I have a fever, flu like symptoms with an infection this severe?

I don’t really know what I expect in the way of responses, I think I just maybe needed to write it all down and perhaps hear if anyone has had a similar experience?

Thank you for reading the novella of my last two week, any responses are much appreciated.


Hi Gemjess, first advice is, don’t Google, it almost always points to BC! I really feel for you, and it is a very worrying time when you are grappling with the unknown. I do feel you need the professionals on this, as anything I / others could offer would be just a stab in the dark. There are so many different symptoms for so many different things, most of which are not BC.  I do hope that it is an infection and the antibiotics clear it all up. Once you get a diagnosis you will know what you need in the way of help and advice? Sending a big hug, good wishes and the very best of luck. ?

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me, anniej.

Googling did actually help in a roundabout way, From what Ive read from reputable sources it seems most likely that i must have an infection of some kind, but I suppose there’s always the lingering doubt at the back of my mind that something more sinister is going on.

I only have one day left of antibiotics and so far no positive change which does concern me a bit, I will discuss it with my Gp next week & have an appointment with specialist through but it’s over a week away.

Not knowing is hard isn’t it. ?