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October 15, 2007

Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms, as described by the National Cancer Institute.

· A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area

· A change in the size or shape of the breast

· Nipple discharge or tenderness, or the nipple pulled back (inversion) into the breast

· Ridges or pitting of the breast (the skin looks like the skin of an orange)

· A change in the way the skin of the breast, areola or nipple looks or feels (for example, warm, swollen, red or scaly)

The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation says women who have any of the symptoms and have not been diagnosed should see a doctor. Inflammatory breast cancer is often mistaken for an infection, and antibiotics are prescribed. Ask for a mammogram and then request a copy of the radiologist's report. If there is skin discoloration, ask for a skin biopsy and request a copy of the pathologist's report. If the mammogram and the skin biopsy are each negative, ask for an ultrasound.


If symptoms persist without a diagnosis of their cause, seek a second or third opinion. Continue until a doctor has determined the cause of your symptoms.

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