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Bowel problems, e coli infection, residual inflammation, glands in neck and armpits, brown patch on breast. Breast Cancer ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 17 Questions
Hi I am 20 and i have been having bowel problems since a bad e coli infection. the doctors think that it is residual inflammation and i have got glands up in my neck and under my arm. they say this is linked to my body fighting off the inflammation. i have noticed i tiny, rather faint brown patch on my breast and i am concerned this is breast cancer or linked to the swollen glands. should i be worried about skin or breast cancer from this spot or the glands?
Tue, 22 May 2012 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Jayasukrutamma D N 50 minutes later

Thank you for your query.

Let me summarize what I understood from your Qn:

20 year old female, with c/o brown patch over the breast, with past history of asthma and E coli 157 infection, with multiple enlarged, lymph glands, linked to inflammation and now worried if the brown patch is, skin or breast cancer. Did I get your Qn right?

Most probably its a benign condition and does not sound cancerous. I have not seen a breast cancer starting with skin patch on the breast.

I would like to know the following too before I answer you further.

How did it start? - sun exposure can cause brown spots or tans.

For how long do you have this? If its been there for a long period, have you noticed any change in its color or size recently? - signifies it may be nasty.

Any other similar spots on the body? Does it look like a birth mark?

Do you wear any wired underwear bras? Some people with asthma show atopic allergic reaction towards metal objects, that can also be a reason.

Does it have any other associated problems like pain, redness, itching, Which point towards inflammation or do you feel any lump in the breast/s? - if present, this lump, again may be benign or cancer, needs evaluation.

Do you have family history of breast cancer? - If yes, your probability of getting it is slightly higher than the general population.

So I would suggest you to visit a Dermatologist / Breast surgeon depending upon the following:

Consult a dermatologist if you ans Yes to these and No to the Consult a Breast Surgeon Options

If the patch is over the skin, with no underlying swelling,
If there is itching, redness, pain making it look more like a skin problem.
If there are other similar spots on the body
If there is history of exposure to sun or wearing metal underwire bras.

Consult a Breast Surgeon if you ans Yes to these and No to the consult a Dermatologist options
There is a lump in the breast/s
There is family history of breast problems.
Orange peel appearance of the skin over the breast.
Any oozing or discharge from the nipple.

For the residual inflammation and the multiple enlarged lymph glands please consult your physician.

Hope this helped you find the answer you were looking for.
I am available here to answer your follow up queries if any, please feel free to write back to us.
Wish you good health, relaxed mind and a great weekend.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Bowel problems, e coli infection, residual inflammation, glands in neck and armpits, brown patch on breast. Breast Cancer ? 2 hours later
Thanks for the reply,
It has been there for a while, but i have seen no obvious change to the patch.
It is very light brown and circular in shape. I have not got any other marks that I have seen. I do wear under wire bras yes.
There is no itching or pain and no family history of breast cancer as far as I am aware. My breasts were checked quite recently by doc who said there was lumpy flesh but no suspicious lumps .
Should i still be concerned?
Answered by Dr. Jayasukrutamma D N 53 minutes later
Thanks for writing back to us.
You should not be concerned about cancer.
It sounds like a fungal infection of the skin. I would suggest you to consult a dermatologist who may prescribe some antifungal ointments for local application. It takes three days to see remission.
Also keep the area dry, consider using cotton bras for a while.
You may also consider avoiding underwired bras for few days and see if it helps, though it does not sound like allergic patch.
Hope this helps, Take care, wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Bowel problems, e coli infection, residual inflammation, glands in neck and armpits, brown patch on breast. Breast Cancer ? 1 hour later
Thank you. I have felt some lumpy, hard breast tissue in the left breast that i forgot to mention previously. Should this be of any concern
Answered by Dr. Jayasukrutamma D N 13 minutes later
If you have found the lump and if its hard better to get a physician's opinion in person.

If its a small lump, that increases and decreases in size in a month and is mobile - meaning you can move it within the breast tissue, that may not be of so much importance. ( It may be what we call breast mouse, or fibroadenoma of the breast.)

In any case, if its a hard lump, it needs a physician's check.

Hope this helps you. take care, have a nice weekend.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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