Connect with us

Executive Voice

Could My Rash Be Breast Cancer?

sanjay warrier surgeon header

According to leading breast cancer surgeon Associate Professor Sanjay Warrier, while the chance of a rash being breast cancer is generally low, more women need to know the signs to look out for if a rash does appear.

“If you take off your shirt and find a flare-up of spots, redness or itchiness it is easy to spiral into a storm of stress. However, the truth of the matter is that most rashes can occur anywhere on your body – including your breasts – making breast rashes fairly common,” Associate Professor Warrier said.

“Rashes can be uncomfortable, unsightly, worrisome, and certainly surprised when they pop up in sensitive areas like your breasts or nipples. Of course, some breast rashes are more problematic than others – and it is not always easy to tell the difference between the two.

“As a general rule of thumb, to distinguish the nasty from the mild, any rash that can be treated with over the counter topical creams in less than a few weeks is mild. However, if a rash involving your breast or nipple persists, swells, becomes painful, oozes, or leads to a fever, it is important to see your GP.”

According to Associate Professor Warrier, there are two key forms of breast cancer that are associated with breast rashes. He breaks down how to tell if your rash is associated with one of these rare forms of breast cancer.

Paget’s Disease of the Breast

“I should start by saying that Paget’s Disease of the breast or nipple accounts for less than five percent of all breast cancer cases in Australia. This rare form of breast cancer occurs when cancer cells amass in or around your nipple, which can affect the ducts of your nipple, as well as the outside of the nipple and areola,” Associate Professor Warrier explained.

According to Associate Professor Warrier, if you have Paget’s Disease of the breast you will likely notice rash-type symptoms on one breast.

“The skin condition you might notice with Paget’s Disease is scaly, red and itchy skin. While this condition is most common in women over the age of 50, if your symptoms match up you should visit a doctor as soon as possible because more than 97 percent of people who have this condition also have cancer elsewhere in their breast,” Associate Professor Warrier added.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

“This form of cancer only accounts for one to five percent of all breast cancers. However, while it is rare, it is also very specific – and it is important to know its signs,” Associate Professor Warrier said.

According to Associate Professor Warrier, the distinctive symptom associated with IBC is commonly known as ‘peau d’orange’, which is a thickened area of skin that is dimpled resembling an orange. In addition to this rash-type appearance, sufferers’ nipples may become tender, itchy or even discharge, or one breast may look significantly bigger than the other.

“Once again, I strongly recommend that anyone with these symptoms should see their GP immediately,”  Associate Professor Warrier said.

According to Associate Professor Warrier, there are six other common causes for breast rashes that people should look out for:

  • Intertrigo – A sweat irritation that is caused by the folds of your skin rubbing against each other, or where your clothing or bra meet. This is one of the most common rashes seen by dermatologists and typically appears underneath or between the breasts. This irritation can lead to yeast or other bacterial growth, which is why patients should aim to keep the affected skin clean, cool, and dry to help it clear.
  • Contact Dermatitis – An itchy rash that occurs when your skin comes into close contact with something it is allergic to or is irritated by. Commonly, this condition can be connected to the dyes and fabric finishes in clothing, fragrances and detergents, which is why it develops on the breasts. In order to ease the itch, you simply need to avoid whatever if causing it – and if you can’t work it out, see a dermatologist.
  • Yeast Infection – Obviously a yeast infection is not commonly associated with your breasts, however it is not unusual to be found on the areola of nursing mothers. A yeast infection is a fungal yeast infection that can be identified by irritated, shiny, painful, or flaky nipples. Topical or oral antifungals can help, though sanitizing everything and regularly washing your bras can cool off the symptoms. It is important for breastfeeding mothers to see their GP if they believe they have a yeast infection.
  • Eczema, Psoriasis, and other common skin rashes – scabies, hives, shingles. These are all common rashes and they do not discriminate which part of the body they show up on. If a rash appears of your breasts, as well as other places on your body, you should book into a dermatologist.
  • Heat Rash – When your sweat ducts trap sweat under your skin, red lumps that can feel prickly, itchy and uncomfortable can grace your breasts. This skin condition occurs primarily in hot, humid weather, so it tends to go away on its own when your skin has a chance to cool down.
  • Mastitis – A build-up of milk inside your breasts triggered by a clogged milk duct, or something else preventing the flow of milk, can occur for breastfeeding mothers. The affected breast tissue commonly swells, becomes red and warm to the touch. Breaks in your skin or nipples can lead to an infection, which can be treated under the guise of your GP with frequent nursing, using a warm pack before your feed, and in some cases antibiotics.

Associate Professor Sanjay Warrier is the immediate past President and current committee member of Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ).  His views are those of his own, not BreastSurgANZ.    Associate Professor Warrier’s surgery is located at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. He is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and won the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Patron’s Prize for best scientific research.

Advertisement Become A Crypto Expert

Join Disrupt Magazine

Become A Crypto Expert
Become A Disrupt Contributor

Most Disruptive

Entrepreneurship5 months ago

Navy Veteran Davis Chris Takes the Music Industry by storm

In life, you need to break down anything that might be holding you back and change course if need be...

Entrepreneurship5 months ago

5 Disruptive Leaders Paving the Way in 2021

Where there is uncertainty, lies a whirlwind of opportunity. 2020 was the year that had entrepreneurs learn a great deal...

Politics1 year ago

Brock Pierce Wants To Disrupt The Two Party System And Be Your Next President

We don’t usually cover politics much here at Disrupt, but when Crypto billionaire and friend of the show, Brock Pierce...

Business1 year ago

John Mcafee – Predictions For The Future

John McAfee is a world-famous tech CEO, computer scientist, civil disobedience activist, privacy advocate, and pioneer of the commercial anti-virus...

Finance1 year ago

Gaby Wall Street – Teaching Latinas to Thrive During The Crisis

It’s no secret we are facing one of the most challenging financial times of the last few decades as we...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Tony Delgado – The #1 Entrepreneurship Movement In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican online market is in constant progress. With many entrepreneurs who are coming here to start a business, it...

Entrepreneurship1 year ago

Elena Cardone – The 10X Ladies Conference Is Declaring 2020 The Decade For Women

The next ten years are meant for women to continue growing their potential and succeeding in multiple areas, including business....

Marketing2 years ago

How Josh Elizetxe Built Snow Into a $40 Million Dollar Business

There is nothing quite like an entrepreneur’s determination when starting a business. That’s my original quote by the way (pun...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

How Jason Capital Became A Self Made Millionaire By 24

Have you ever wanted to earn the respect of everyone who ever looked down on you at some point in...

Entrepreneurship2 years ago

Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion

Dr. Saman Bakhtiar, who prefers being referred as Sam, lives in an 8200 square foot $5.2 million house, Sam is...


Copyright © 2020 Disrupt ™ Magazine - Disrupt is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company

Disrupt ™ is the voice of Latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a global movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities around the world. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. This Podcast was designed to give them a taste of that.