Burning sensation and pain in left breast

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songbird123
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/8/2011 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone. While I am not new to the Healing Well forum, I am new to this particular forum. I have had pain and a burning sensation in my left breast for about a month and it's getting worse. I know I should have had it checked before now, but I didn't really think it was anything. Then last night I had a dream where a doctor was telling me that I had breast cancer. (And I have a habit of having prophetic dreams.) The dream woke me up and I started doing some research. Seems I have the possible symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer. So, I'm going to go see a doctor today. Only thing is, my regular doctor is out this week, so I'm going to have to see a different doctor, but I want it checked ASAP now. I'm scared he might blow it off as nothing as well, when I would really like to have a mammogram to ease my mind. Has anyone else had IBC that started as a burning sensation and/or pain? Thanks for reading.

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 9/8/2011 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't have inflammatory brca, but I can tell you that this could be be symptoms of an infection, as well. Infections are much more common, but I think it is a good thing to have the doctor check this out ASAP. Mammograms are not always helpful in determining IBC, as there is seldom a "mass." Please let us know what the doc says.

Hugs...
Bev

IBCwomaninFL
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/8/2011 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with IBC in 2007. As the Forum Moderated stated, mammograms are not always helpful in determining IBC since there is usually no lump, but a sheet or nest of tumors, which is not seen on a routine mammo.

If you are not pregnant, not nursing and are not running a temperature, you do not have an infection and antibiotics are not going to help. My doctor insisted upon three rounds of antibiotics (10 days each) before I finally got to have a diagnostic mammo and ultrasound which confirmed that I might have IBC and should have a biopsy (usual method for diagnosing IBC correctly). Check out the signs and symptoms at the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation (www.eraseibc.com). You can also print out a brochure to give to your doctor. If you have any other questions, call the toll-free number.

songbird123
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/8/2011 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I just got home from work or I would have posted sooner, but I did see the doctor today. Like I said before, this wasn't my normal woman doctor and I refuse to ever see this doc again! He barely looked at my breast, didn't give me a breast exam, and said, "Oh, you've probably just got an infection. Here's a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic." When I asked him about IBC, he looked at me like I had two heads, told me that he had never heard of it, and laughed at me!! GRRRRR!!! If I had not been half-naked, I might have followed him out into the hallway! But, he did schedule a diagnostic mammogram "just to rule out anything else." But, like you guys said, IBC isn't usually detected by a mammogram, so what do I do now?? I personally don't think I have an infection and think it would be silly to take the antibiotics without one. I just have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that something isn't right, but I'm having a hard time convincing anyone else around me of that. Thanks for reading.

songbird123
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/12/2011 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I went to an OB/GYN today for a second opinion. He said that I didn't have a breast infection (which I already knew) and did a breast exam. When he started poking and prodding on my left breast, I cried out in pain! But, he said that the pain is not only in my breast but in my chest wall and that I didn't "feel like I had" IBC. He said that I probably pulled something or slept on it funny!?! (Even though I've had symptoms for a month!) But, he wants me to go ahead with the mammogram and see what it says. So, now I'm waiting some more and don't know what to do. Most of the time IBC isn't detected by a mammogram, right? Now what??

songbird123
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/19/2011 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
OK, just found out that the mammogram came back "normal," which I figured it would since I don't have a lump. But I'm not giving up until I find out what's wrong with me! I have a call in now to a nurse at the UAB Kirklin Clinic's Breast Health Clinic. The University of Alabama-Birmingham has an excellent cancer center and the Kirklin Clinic is supposed to have a program to help people like myself with no health insurance. I hate this...you shouldn't have to fight to find out what's wrong with you!

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 9/19/2011 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope you get some answers.

Hugs...
BEV

songbird123
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/21/2011 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I was finally able to get to see my usual nurse-practitioner this morning, and when she did a breast exam, she discovered that the place where most of my pain is that there is a thickening of the skin.
:( Not good news. But, she actually knows about IBC, and agrees that I should have a biopsy performed. However, she wants me to have it done at UAB's Kirklin Clinic, because she's afraid none of the doctors in this small town would know what to look for. Also, she said that if it is cancer, she would rather that I be treated at UAB Hospital. Which I can't argue with. So, now I'm waiting again. I've started the process for the Charity Care program at Kirklin Clinic, and I am in contact with a nurse at one of the breast doctor's down there, so between my np's referral, and the nurse at the Kirklin Clinic, I am hoping I can be seen soon

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 9/21/2011 9:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope you get in soon as well. Let us know how it goes.

BEV

songbird123
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/4/2011 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
GREAT NEWS! The breast specialist/oncologist I saw today, Dr. Bland, is also a breast expert and has written several books on breast cancer. I'm telling you this to say that I believe he knows what he's talking about. With that being said, he told me that he fully believes that I do NOT have IBC!! He thinks that it's the amount of Premarin that I take that is causing my problems. (I had a full hysterectomy when I was 27.) I still go back on Oct 18 for the mammogram and ultrasound and after that they're going to figure out what to do about my medicine, but I am soooo relieved. It's taken me a while for it to fully sink in, because I was prepared for the worst. Thanks for all the supportive messages and info that I've gotten! YAY!!!

decaf4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/9/2011 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Songbird, I was reading your posts like they were my own.  I also have the feeling of tenderness/pain, plus itchy left breast, going on for the past month.   Did a mamm and it showed no difference from two years ago, even with the new digital mamms which are supposed to detect better scans.  Then I read that people with dense breasts (like me) will need an ultrasound with a mamm to really see what's going on.  I'm glad to hear your news is positive, but I know exactly what you must have been going through last month.  Tomorrow I am calling my dr.  to insist on an ultrasound.  My maternal grandmother died of breast cancer at 39 so it's always on my mind.  
 
Another thing, I had "chest wall inflammation" dx. in May 2011, so I'm wondering if that's tied in to the breast pain.  So many questions, and I'm getting nowhere....

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 10/15/2011 7:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Songbird, so glad to hear that this is not IBC. Hope they get your medication adjusted so you are not having such pain.
Decaf, I hope you get some answers, as well.

Hugs...
BEV

Joshua11
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/1/2011 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
This type of issue seems to be all to common. Really would hope there are answers for these kinds of issues. Sounds eerily similar to my girlfriends issues.

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 11/8/2011 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Sandra, I've had costochondritis, but it was not like breast pain at all. I guess it depends on where you get it. Mine was where the ribs attach to the sternum. Where was yours?

A pinched nerve, for sure can cause referred pain, and I would assume it could be pain in the breast.

Thanks for the input!

Hugs...
BEV

Pink Roses
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/30/2011 1:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Posting for all who might benefit...
 
For months I had episodes of burning pain in lower outside quartrant of left breast.  Then a mammogram revealed rapid increase in microcalcifications in that same area, and a biopsy was recommended.  Web search led to a study (small sample) in which 100% of those with rapid increase in microcalcifications had DCIS (stage 0 breast cancer) or other breast cancer.  I knew that even though it was a small study, with numbers like 100%, it's important to pay attention.
 
Biopsy revealed estrogen negative DCIS (thank God for mammograms).  After I obtained and read the path report I saw that the margins were not good (should be 1 centimeter or more).  There had also been a cyst in the left breast and cells within it were highly abnormal.  Although an MRI was unable to detect problems, after much additional research I concluded that my left breast was in a melt-down.
 
I opted for a bilateral mastectomy, as I could not tolerate the risk of doing less.  Only after I had elected the bilateral mastectomy was I advised that the group that tends to make that choice under such circumstances is female doctors.  Radiation would have been standard treatment. 
 
After the mastectomy, the pathology results confirmed that the DCIS was pervasive throughout the left breast, and it was on the move, with cancerization of lobules.  Radiation would not have covered a large enough area to address the affected cells in the left breast.  It had been a setup for what would have been called a relapse.  The right breast had cells that are thought to be the precursors of cancer. 
 
Be very careful.  It is extremely easy to underestimate the seriousness of what may be happening at a cellular level. 
 
 
   

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 12/30/2011 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
You are not the first person I know who has been found to have much more extensive involvement than had been anticipated. I think that is always the fear when there is a lumpectomy. Glad you went with your gut.

Hugs...
bEV
Bev
Breast Cancer forum moderator

TufCookie
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/2/2012 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Just four days ago I started feeling a sharp burning sensation on my right breast. It felt like a hot poker was piercing through my breast. The pain was so intense when it happened for the first time that it woke me up from a deep sleep. After sitting straight up on my bed and trying to make sense of what was happening to me, the pain began to subside after 15 - 20 seconds had passed. My initial thoughts were that I had probably pulled my breast tissue while turning in my sleep as I have a tendency to sleep on my stomach a lot. I am overweight and this position helps relieve some of my back pain, not to mention the fact that I snore less too as an added benefit. At any rate, I repositioned myself & went right back to sleep only to be awakened by the same pain a couple of hours later, realizing that once again I was on my stomach. I propped some pillows on my side to avoid turning & I did not feel any more pain until the next evening. This time I was awake & reading a magazine in bed, sitting propped up against my headboard when suddenly I felt the same sharp pain followed by a hot, burning sensation as if a sack of hot oil had busted inside my breast. I do have naturally large breast, so my first thought was that maybe I had been drinking too much caffeine lately. So, for the last couple of days I have stopped drinking coffee, dark sodas, etc. (including no chocolate) to see if this would help stop the pain. I remember my sister having a similar situation a few years back & her doctor told her that caffeine may sometimes trigger pain in breasts. The interesting thing is that after eliminating all caffeine products, the pain in my right breast has now spread to my left one & has gotten considerably stronger and more frequent. I was at work yesterday when it hit me all of a sudden. A female coworker who is a cancer survivor was right next to me when this happened & she told me that cancer in the breasts usually is painless unless it is in the final stages. I told her that I had a my first mammogram about a year and a half ago and the only thing they foung were some fat nodules/deposits, which my doctor said were common in heavy set women. Now, after reading the comments in this section, I am worried about IBC. I have never heard of this type of cancer, but then again I am only 42 and new to these types of problems since no women in my family has ever had cancer of any kind. Another thing that concerns me is that in February I came down with the flu, and after a week or so when I had just started to feel better, I came down with bronchitis, which later turned to pneumonia. After going through 3 rounds of antibiotics (10 days each) I finally started to feel a little better until this week when my breasts started to burn and hurt. Could the 2 events be related or are the flu/pneumonia and breast issues be two separate events? My doctor ordered a series of chest x-rays to see if my lungs are okay, but now I am wondering if I should also request that she also sends me for a mammogram and/or ultrasounds of my breasts. Please advice...

Tufcookie

TufCookie
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/2/2012 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Just four days ago I started feeling a sharp burning sensation on my right breast. It felt like a hot poker was piercing through my breast. The pain was so intense when it happened for the first time that it woke me up from a deep sleep. After sitting straight up on my bed and trying to make sense of what was happening to me, the pain began to subside after 15 - 20 seconds had passed. My initial thoughts were that I had probably pulled my breast tissue while turning in my sleep as I have a tendency to sleep on my stomach a lot. I am overweight and this position helps relieve some of my back pain, not to mention the fact that I snore less too as an added benefit. At any rate, I repositioned myself & went right back to sleep only to be awakened by the same pain a couple of hours later, realizing that once again I was on my stomach. I propped some pillows on my side to avoid turning & I did not feel any more pain until the next evening. This time I was awake & reading a magazine in bed, sitting propped up against my headboard when suddenly I felt the same sharp pain followed by a hot, burning sensation as if a sack of hot oil had busted inside my breast. I do have naturally large breast, so my first thought was that maybe I had been drinking too much caffeine lately. So, for the last couple of days I have stopped drinking coffee, dark sodas, etc. (including no chocolate) to see if this would help stop the pain. I remember my sister having a similar situation a few years back & her doctor told her that caffeine may sometimes trigger pain in breasts. The interesting thing is that after eliminating all caffeine products, the pain in my right breast has now spread to my left one & has gotten considerably stronger and more frequent. I was at work yesterday when it hit me all of a sudden. A female coworker who is a cancer survivor was right next to me when this happened & she told me that cancer in the breasts usually is painless unless it is in the final stages. I told her that I had a my first mammogram about a year and a half ago and the only thing they foung were some fat nodules/deposits, which my doctor said were common in heavy set women. Now, after reading the comments in this section, I am worried about IBC. I have never heard of this type of cancer, but then again I am only 42 and new to these types of problems since no women in my family has ever had cancer of any kind. Another thing that concerns me is that in February I came down with the flu, and after a week or so when I had just started to feel better, I came down with bronchitis, which later turned to pneumonia. After going through 3 rounds of antibiotics (10 days each) I finally started to feel a little better until this week when my breasts started to burn and hurt. Could the 2 events be related or are the flu/pneumonia and breast issues be two separate events? My doctor ordered a series of chest x-rays to see if my lungs are okay, but now I am wondering if I should also request that she also sends me for a mammogram and/or ultrasounds of my breasts. Please advice...

Tufcookie

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/6/2012 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Tufcookie. Your co-worker is right. Breast cancer is usually painless, but not always. I really doubt this is breast cancer, and if you've had a lot of coughing with your pneumonia/ bronchitis, then the pain could be from the underlying musculature or the connective tissue in the ribs.

I would definitely bring this to the doctor's attention. There is no reason to suffer with the pain, and there has to be an origin. IBC usually results in red, swollen, sometimes hot to the touch breast tissue.

So get that checked out, girl! And let us know how it goes...
Hugs...
BEV
Bev
Breast Cancer forum moderator

ctlyn
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/11/2012 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello,
 
I, too, have been experiencing a burning sensation in my breast for about a month.  Eleven years ago I had a lumpectomy in the same breast.  They found abnormal cells but no cancer.  I took tamoxifen for 5 years as a preventative.  I am scheduled for my annual mammo on August 10th, but should I be concerned enough to try to get the mammo scheduled sooner?
 
Thank you!

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/11/2012 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
You can try, but it may not happen. I've waited two months for a follow-up to a finding of a mass in my remaining breast. That I had already lost one breast to two different types of brca was of no help. (It was fine, by the way.)

The good news is that, even if it were cancer, two months is not long at all, in terms of progression of disease.

That doesn't make the wait any easier when compared to not knowing.

Let me know if you are able to change your appointment.

Hugs...
Bev
Breast Cancer forum moderator

ctlyn
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/11/2012 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Bev. I guess the reason I was thinking about the speed of an appointment is that if it is IBC (burning, no lump), it is so fast, aggressive and deadly versus other forms of breast cancer. Does this influence your thoughts?

Again thanks to you and the kind service that you provide.

Hugs back at you.

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/12/2012 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Does your doctor think this is IBC??? Because I wouldn't want to be waiting for a mammogram if that is what the doctor suspects. I would be going straight to a breast surgeon. IBC often can't even be detected by mammogram, so why bother, would be my response to the waiting for a mammogram question. You didn't mention any of the typical symptoms of IBC, such as redness, heat, thickening of the skin...

If you are having those types of symptoms, then I would definitely have a different opinion. But please remember, I'm just a survivor here, I'm not a medical professional at all, and all I have to offer is a personal opinion, emotional support and personal experience.

Hope that helps...
Hugs!
Bev
Breast Cancer forum moderator

ctlyn
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/12/2012 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks again Bev. No, my former oncologist who I spoke to today does not think that it is IBC. I do not have redness, heat, thickening of the skin, or nipple inversion, just itching and an occassional stabbing sensation. He said that he believes that what I am feeling is related to the lumpectomy I had 11 years ago. (He said that he has patients who had surgery 20 years ago and still have sensations in the breast. I would be interested if anyone else has the same experience?) He has added an MRI to the mammo and ultrasound I have scheduled for August 10th.

I spoke to him rather than the breast surgeon because the breast surgeon resigned and the new one is not coming on until the end of August.

I feel somewhat better about things, but not completely better. At this point I don't know if I am catching something early or if it is really nothing. I am going to keep careful villigence and pray alot.

I am always open to further input.

Many thanks!

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/13/2012 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a mastectomy and a reconstruction that left me with very little sensation anywhere! I did have a surgical biopsy on my remaining breast, but haven't had issues with it. The one time I have had issues with the reconstructed side, it was referred pain in the chest wall from a pinched nerve in my back.

Did you ask to have your mammo moved up? Let me know how it comes out.

Hugs...
Bev
Breast Cancer forum moderator
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