Should I mention IBC at breast clinic and can I insist on a biopsy?

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Hi Ladies

First of all best wishes to all of you on this online community.  I wish no one had to experience this or other forms of cancer, but it is so good and helpful of everyone to share their experiences.   

So, I have been having problems with my left breast.  I honestly can say I never been so fixated before on my boob - or in this case, one boob!

My appointment with the breast clinic is not until 5th September and I am looking some advice from you lovely ladies.  Should I mention that I am worried about IBC and can I insist on a biopsy? 

By way of background, my left breast is swollen and heavy with noticeable veins and what I think looks like bruising / slight discolouration.  The nipple is also half the size of the other one and appears slightly flattened but not alarmingly so.  I've had recurring pain, burning and stinging sensations that have recently moved into the armpit and top of underarm.  I think it feels slightly warmer than the other but not a huge contrast and there is no angry reddening or rash.  It does sometimes feel itchy but not the way it had been previously.   I've had a tiny rash on that area this past while back that thankfully seems to have responded to creams.  I don't think I have orange peel skin but I do think it looks different - but then again I am super sensitive to that boob and how it looks and feels now!

I was seeing my GP about another matter and mentioned the swollen boob, funny changes and pain as I was putting it down to menopause (I'll be 50 next April).  She wasn't overly worried but thought it best to get it checked out as she thought it felt a bit inflamed.  I'm assuming the referral wasn't urgent.  That was in July, but the swelling, pain and nipple changes haven't improved.  They haven't gotten drastically worse either, which I am taking as a good sign.  I can't feel any lumps although I do feel my left side of breast and neck is more puffy than the other.

I haven't had a fever and haven't been on anti-biotics - are they likely to try that first or how thorough will they be?  I had a clear mammogram back in June which was when I fist noticed minor changes. 

Yes, I went on google - was initially searching menopause when I came across IBC.  I knew to look out for changes to one breast but I had never heard of the other warning signs related to IBC.  At times I am worried sick, then others times I tell myself its something benign.  Clearly something is not right with "Lefty" but I'm not sure how serious they will take it or how much to push this at the clinic.  

Any advice would be greatly appreciated about what to expect on the day and what to say.

Apologies for the long thread, but thought it best to provide some context. 




  • Hi

    Sorry to read you are going through the waiting answers angst Disappointed

    By all means mention your Inflammatory concerns and let them know the issues you have been having. Don't think you would get away with demanding a biopsy, but be assured after mammo and ultrasound if they have the least possible concerns they will biopsy you anyway.

    The breast clinic staff are very experienced for the most part have seen it all before and know what to look out for.

    Sounds like you are almost in the same boat as who posted this in the group yesterday, but she hasn't even got a referral from her GP yet.

    Hope this is of some help until one of the more experienced IBC members reply.

    Fingers crossed for you, G n' J