Worried about inflammatory breast cancer

Hi all,

Got my COVID booster on 12/30, had painful lymph nodes on the left side for a bit following, then seemed to go away. 

Two weeks later, started having significant itching to top of left breast - didn’t think much of it at first, as it’s winter/been showering more before and after work because of the COVID surge and all the positive patients we’ve been seeing/have been having dry skin all over, as is par for the course. I was paying more attention than usual to my breasts, the left one in particular because of this (and happened to google that particular symptom, which of course led me down the inflammatory breast cancer rabbit hole). I DID notice that my hair follicles seemed more prominent/had subtle larger white spots, like a subtle peau d’orange, and then noticed a puckered area at the top left of my left breast when investigating an area that felt different: thicker, and almost ridge-like. Also had a more subtle puckered area to the outside top of my right breast.

Went to see the OB today, and the NP was not worried at all, but seemed to be basing her opinion on the fact that there were no palpable lumps. I specifically mentioned my concerns for inflammatory breast cancer, but she was all “Nope, it’s not that.” She wanted me to come back in a few months for a recheck, but ended up ordering a mammogram and US for my “peace of mind.” 

I feel slightly better that she wasn’t worried - but she also didn’t seem to be aware that inflammatory breast cancer doesn’t always come with a lump, so I’m not entirely reassured. Should I be pushing for more? I’ve seen so many messages saying that nothing was seen on ultrasound and only on MRI, so not sure if I should be advocating for more, such as an MRI and seeing a specialist, for actual peace of mind (hopefully).

Hi @afineskyline  - welcome to the forum, but obviously I’m very sorry you find yourself here. I’m afraid I can’t help with your question, but as it’s a medical one I thought you might also want to consider posting the same question on the nurses’ board. Or you could give them a call on 08088006000 (number is at the top right of this page).

I really hope you can get the full reassurance you are looking for so that you can put it out of your mind. I’m sure someone else will be along with some more advice too on here.

Sending hugs, and if you feel like it do please come back and update if/when you get some more information. Evie xx

I’m exactly where you are. My breast discomfort started with intense itchiness of the left side of my breast, all the way to and including the nipple. This comes and goes. There is no mark on the skin. My breast feels sore and maybe a little swollen inside. Of to the side,  and under my arm I can palpate what feel like enlarged lymph nodes, which are sore when I press on them. My PCP did a quick manual exam and said he thought he could feel an area of thickening under my skin, but he said it was probably from all the itching. So he gave me a topical steroid cream for the itchy area, which didn’t help. He then sent my off for a mammogram and a ‘limited ultrasound of the left half of my left breast. The ultrasound tech was very rushed. She said she was doing 2 jobs that day. The  exam felt very cursory, lasting maybe 2 minutes. Then she went to see the radiologist Anne came back in the room to say, “He said everything looks good.’ So I asked, what about the inching and the soreness, and the tenderness of the “maybe lymph nodes.’ She said that they don’t go into those things, that I should ask my PCP. So I did, and now he’s referring me to a breast specialist.