The Skin Rash That Could Be Breast Cancer

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Playing Skin Rash Leads to Shocking Diagnosis

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The Doctors examine a scary form or breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer that begins as a rash on the breast. 

Watch: Drs. Exclusive: What Led to Joanna Kerns' Mastectomy Decision?

Surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk says this type is "one of the most aggressive and deadliest forms of breast cancer," but thankfully it appears in less than 5 percent of the cancers diagnosed. Dr. Funk details the possible signs of include: 

  • An enlarged breast appearing in just days or weeks
  • A feeling of heaviness in the breast
  • A burning pain or sensation
  • The nipple turning inward
  • A lump appearing in the armpit
  • The breast skin turning orange, reddish or brown in color, which can often be misdiagnosed as simply a rash 

Dr. Funk warns that if this rash does not clear up in 3 days to make sure to see a breast specialist. She explains that this cancer appears more likely with African American woman and obese women. She also says inflammatory breast cancer appears at a slightly younger age of 59 compared to most breast cancers appearing around the age of 61.

Watch: Drs. Exclusive: What Led to Joanna Kerns' Mastectomy Decision?

Treatment for this type of cancer is aggressive involving chemotherapy, mastectomy, armpit lymph node removal and the radiating of the remaining skin and lymph nodes.