Hello Gayle - First, sorry you are dealing with this....
I was dx in Feb 2001. Some redness, inverted nipple, LARGE mass. I had surgery in March 2001, and I had a 4.5 cm tumor with 5 of 49 lymph nodes positive. Stage IIB. VERY aggressive cancer, ER-/PR-, Her2neu 3+++.
Just four months prior, I had a CLEAR mammo and ultrasound.... (personally I think that mammo 'broke' or 'exploded' the tumor, causing it to advance so fast in 4 short months). Anyway, my onc thought I had IBC, my surgeon thought I did not. We did a 'skin punch biopsy' to test for abnormal cells, but the surgeon said that depending on exactly where we tested, we may or may not hit the bad cells. The test came back negative. They kept telling me that IBC was a 'clinical diagnosis' not something that was verified/refuted with a lab test. So, although mine 'had characteristics' of early IBC, we can't know for sure. The only strong indication is that my moms sister was also dx w/ IBC in 1998, and luckily, is still here.... (YAY for her!). SO, it is likely that mine was IBC too.
good luck with your 2nd biopsy... can they test a lymph node instead of looking for a mass? thats what we did with mine... we never did actually test the mass via biospy, only a lymph node in my breast.
many hugs- stefanie
"It's been worth everything I've been through,
To do what I do"
To Do What I Do -Alan Jackson, 2004