worried about IBC

Hi, just thought id post here hoping for some advice.

My pain/issues started as something completely different. approx 6 weeks ago i was A+E vomiting and in pain in right side being told i had suspected gallstones, a couple more trips to A+E (including a 2 night stay) followed, i eventually got told i had no stones but did have sludge and a distended GB and told they would take it out.
During this spell i have had breast pain but nothing that overly worried me until this past week.
Ive had a constant ache/burn in my left breast that has resulted in not sleeping, it mainly seems below my armpit going down my rib cage and in my shoulder and back. sore nipple from time to time. as far as i can tell it isnt swollen although at times when i look at them i think its slightly bigger (maybe im imagining that) there is no itching, or irritations on the skin, there is some slight rippling bumpy bits along the area where my breastmeets my torso, but it kind of feels like that on the pain free breast.
Ive had 2 courses of antibiotics in the past 3 weeks due to a throat infection, so im presuming its not an infection causing the severe pain as it would of cleared it up. I have also taken anti-inflammatory tablets which dont seem to take much or any of the pain away.
I went to my pre-op assesment for my gallbladder removal and they said it can refer to the left but its very unusual and have told me to speak to my GP, i dont think id be worried so much except for the pain, i was vomiting from the pain yesterday it seems relentless.
does this sound remotely like it could be IBC? Is it common to still have IBC without swelling/rashes/itching?
Im worrying myself sick and also worrying that i am due to have an operation that i might not need if the pain is being caused by something else.

thanks for any help

Hi Ruby,

I’m sorry to hear you’re in so much pain and worrying. Can I suggest you give our helpline team here a ring and have a chat with one of the staff, they’re here to support you. Calls are free, 0808 800 6000 lines open at 9am tomorrow unti 5pm (Mon-Fri & Sat 10-2)

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Dear ruby,
oh, it sounds like you have such a rotten time, and you are in so much pain… I really feel for you. I hope things can be sorted out for you very soon.
Jo has already suggested you phone the helpline - and I would strongly recommend you do so tomorrow. They are very knowledgeable people and will help put your mind at rest.
The pre-op team adviced you to go to your GP, which I think sounds like very good advice. You should not have to suffer so much pain, and hopefully your gp can help you with that. Also, as you are having worries about pains in your breast, and possible changes in our nippple, you should definitely discuss this with your gp. You are the expert on what is normal for you about your breasts, and if there are changes and pain this should be seen into. As you are in so much pain, please do ask for an urgent visit to the GP. Do phone first thing tomorrow, I would ask for one on the same day if available. Your gp should be able to help you reduce the pain. Don’t suffer in silence.
as for your question on whether this could be ibc? I don’t know. Very unlikely i would think. I had ibc, and a very much swollen breast, and lots of referred pain in my arm (I thought my arm was very ill, but it turned out to be all referred pain from my breast - this referred pain thing is weird). Different from your experience though. your pains may well be related to the other things going on for you - and the stresses that go with all this. Do mention your worry to your GP tomorrow, or as soon as you see her or him. And please don’t google too much on the ibc subject, lots of info is too much outdated and not a nice read.
Sending my warmest wishes, hope things go better for you soon,


Hi Ruby
i’ve sent you a private message.
Stella x

I went to see my GP this morning. He felt like both breasts looked similar in terms of skin appearance (both my breasts have always appeared a little dimply ‘all over’ the result of losing weight since being in my teens- ), there seemed no sign of an infection (even one being masked by IBC) but said he felt like id maybe inflamed some of the muscles near my ribs, obviously he is no expert, so asked me if i wanted a referal to a breast clinic, so i said yes, he said i would hear from them within this week and be seen by them before the end of next. he told me to take anti inflammatory tablets, they do work to start with but that ache is back before im allowed to take the next batch.

there has been no major change to my pain/breast appearance ‘so far’ apart from the initial worsening of pain. would i be expecting this to escalate by now? or can it vary? i had this same pain 2-3 weeks ago on and off but it has been contast the past few days.
if my pain levels and breast appearance stay the same, am i ok waiting till next week for the clinic?
thanks again for your advice and replies

Hi ruby123,

Here is a link to the BCC publication ‘Your breast clinic appointment’ which I hope will be helpful:


As others have mentioned, please do give the BCC a call if it would help to talk things through, lines reopen tomorrow at 9am tel. 0808 800 6000 (mon-Fri 9am - 5pm and Sat 10am-2pm).

With best wishes,

Anna, BCC moderator

Anna, Thanks for that link to the advice.

I spoke to someone on that helpline who was very helpful.

I havent had my appointment through yet, so hopefully soon.
Ive been taking anti-inflammatory tablets for 5 days now, the pain hasnt gone, but it has lessened, as in it will flare up a handful times a day rather than the constant pain i was having, not sure whether thats a good sign or not?
still no redness, or abnormality with the nipple, its no hotter than the other breast, im convinced it looks a tiny bit larger than the other whilst im wearing a bra (i wouldnt say a cupsize) but looks almost the same size without one on.
I know everybody is different but i have read lots about ‘very quick outbreak’ of symptoms and very quick progression from first noticing something?

this pain first came on for 2 days nearly a month ago, then flared again a week later for a day and then again this past week with virtually no other symptoms(that i can tell) in anyones judgement would i have noticed/felt more by now?

also reading other peoples experiences, im sort of worried that with no redness/differences to the other breast (at this point) when i speak to a person at the clinic they may not treat my fears as seriously as i currently am?

Just thought id let you know what happened as you were so kind as to give me advice.
I had my gallbladder removed, all went ok, no issues. Had my breast clinic today, i saw a consultant and he said i had absolutely no symptom to his ‘eye’ of IBC except pain and even that he felt like from my description was probably not coming from my breast but the chest muscles, particularly as i explained it as ‘having mini heart attacks’ He examined me felt nothing unuual and said whilst i was there i may as well have an ultrasound to be sure (im too young for a mammogram), that came back fine. He said he isnt in a position to diagnose me with a muscular injury or condition as its not his area of expertise but he thinks i may have simple condition where my rib muscle inflame, and if so im more than likely to get it again but the good news i it will go away, so im looking forward to this pain going away! (it already has to an extent) He also told me to go back if anything changed. But i was happy with all they said and did, they were very kind to me considering i didnt have a lump or a physical clue that something was wrong.
thanks once again for your replies, private meages and advice to call the helpline. x