WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Breast cancer is typically detected through a lump or a tumor. But doctors want you to take notice of a rare form of breast cancer that causes a rash or inflammation. It's called Inflammatory Breast Cancer. (IBC)
WFMY News 2 sat down with experts at Wake Forest Baptist Breast Care Center to learn more about detection.
"It can be easily confused with other things," Dr. Alexandra Thomas explained. "Often we see these patients and they've tried antibiotics. They thought they had a breast infection. But it's really important to remember that it's unlikely to have a breast infection unless you're nursing."
According to Thomas, common symptoms include redness, swelling, irritation and an increase in breast size.
Unless you are nursing, Thomas recommends seeing a cancer specialist if you notice any kind of rash or swelling on your breast.
"Be your own advocate. Tell them if you have a swollen or red breast," Thomas said. "We would rather have you evaluated for cancer and not have it be cancer than miss an opportunity to capture something early on."
She also recommends asking for a biopsy, since mammograms can miss IBC.