A skin rash on your breast could be an indication of inflammatory breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer (IBC). Breasts are frequently swollen and red, and symptoms progress quickly over weeks or months. IBC can cause rapid growth of the breasts, and they may feel heavy, burning, or tender. Because there isn’t always a lump, IBC can be difficult to diagnose.
A breast rash can also be caused by infections, allergies, or shingles. Any unexplained rashes on the breast should be examined by a healthcare professional in order to properly diagnose and treat the cause. Learn about beginning breast cancer rash and other infections, including causes, risk factors, and when to see your doctor.
Breast Cancer Rash
Rashes are not a common cancer symptom. A breast cancer rash is an indication of inflammatory breast cancer or Paget’s disease of the breast, both of which are uncommon and difficult to diagnose due to the lack of a lump. Here are a few diseases that can be a start and raise the alarms with the beginning of breast cancer rash.
Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
1. Inflammatory Breast Cancer
IBC is a rare, aggressive cancer that typically affects women who have dense breast tissue. The following symptoms may occur:
- A rash that appears swollen and red
- Skin that is pink, reddish-purple, or bruised
- The skin has ridges (like the skin of an orange)
- Breast rash and/or rapid increase in breast size
- Heavy, burning, or tender breasts
2. Paget’s Disease
This rare condition affects the nipple and is linked to breast cancer. Symptoms that may be confused with dermatitis or eczema include:
- Skin that is red, flaky, crusty, thickened, or scaly around the nipple and areola
- A nipple that has been flattened
- The discharge is yellowish or bloody.
- Pain, inflammation, itching, or burning
Some More Causes of Breast Rash
A breast rash caused by a condition other than breast cancer can occur.
Intertrigo, an inflammatory rash that occurs along skin folds such as the breast, can cause infections. Inflammation can be caused by moisture, friction, and a lack of ventilation. Friction can cause skin breakdown, making it vulnerable to fungal or bacterial infections. Symptoms could include:
- Skin that is red and scaly
- Itching, stinging, or burning feelings
Mastitis, or breast inflammation, is frequently caused by an infection. When a milk duct becomes blocked, it commonly affects breastfeeding women. It can affect both men and women who are not breastfeeding. Among the symptoms are:
An allergic reaction is usually triggered by pollen, food, or medicine, but other factors can also trigger it. Exposure to an allergen can cause hives in the chest and breasts. Raised, red bumps or welts, as well as itchy skin, are symptoms.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a virus-borne illness caused by the chickenpox virus. The virus remains dormant in the body and has the potential to reactivate later in life. Shingles cause a rash that can spread to the chest and breasts. Shingles symptoms include:
- Skin that is painful, itchy, or tingly
- Blisters on the rash
- Fever or chills caused by pain
- Stomach ache
Risk Factors of Beginning Breast Cancer Rash
Many factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors, may increase the risk of developing cancer. Potential risk factors include:
- Predisposition due to genetics (family history of breast or ovarian cancer)
- Changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as other genetic mutations
- Breast cancer or non-cancerous breast disease in the past
- Breast tissue that is dense (breasts that have more connective tissue than fatty tissue)
- Reproductive history with increased estrogen exposure, such as early menstruation, first pregnancy after 30, not breastfeeding, not carrying a full-term pregnancy, or later menopause
- Radiation therapy to the chest or breast in the past
- Lack of physical activity Excess weight or obesity after menopause
- Treatment of menopausal symptoms with hormone therapy
- consuming alcoholic beverages
The Final Words
A breast rash may be an indication of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare and aggressive cancer that frequently goes undetected. Another rare cancer-related condition that can cause a rash is Paget’s breast disease. Breast rash can be caused by conditions other than breast cancer, such as infection, allergic reaction, or shingles.
If you have a breast rash, consult your doctor so that diagnostic tests can be performed to determine the cause and treat the underlying condition.
A breast rash that appears unexpectedly can be frightening. A rash does not always indicate breast cancer, but it is critical to see a doctor who can determine the cause. Self-examination and noticing breast changes can help in the early detection of breast cancer.