We are often reminded here at DCUK that whilst generalisations can sometimes be useful they can also be misleading or upsetting for those who don't fit into the brackets of 'the norm'. I recently had a health problem that I want to share with everyone, it's a rare(ish) condition yet it affects 10,000 to 11,000 women in USA each year, so that not rare really. Whilst it mostly affects women it will also affect anyone who has a loved one who is female so I deliberately didn't put 'women' in the thread title as I want as many people as possible to know about this disease. If my post can at sometime in the future save a life then it will be worth it. My story then. Friday 7th June, I undressed for bed and noticed a bright red rash on one of my breasts. It hadn't been there at all in the morning and by evening it was a circle of 8cm diameter. Alarmingly, it didn't hurt or itch at all. I say alarmingly because usually (but again not always) something minor like a bite hurts and sometimes a lump or rash that doesn't hurt can be something serious. I assumed it must be a bite, but I hadn't been anywhere in the last 48 hours to get an insect bite and didn't think it had happened whilst I was in bed because it only showed in the evening, not first thing in the morning. I googled pictures of bites so that I could ask a pharmacist for the right cream to put on it. There weren't any pics like my rash at all. I felt pretty sure it wasn't skin cancer because I had looked at pictures of all of the kinds before I took an elderly relative to her GP to get her referred for an op to remove a squamous cell carcinoma. I felt sure it wasn't breast cancer because the rash felt warm to the touch, so must be inflammation of some kind and I hadn't lost weight unexpectedly and I had no lump and the rash had come on suddenly. My lymph glands felt OK too. That's where the generalisations can be harmful. I have heard so many times about checking your breasts for lumps... but there is a type of breast cancer that doesn't lead to lumps at all and it's the most serious kind and needs treatment quickly. Here's what I found and what prompted me to go to my GP first thing Monday morning (10th June) A Dangerous and Often Misdiagnosed Breast Cancer… Every woman needs to know about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Read on for more information. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive and deadly form of breast cancer. It does not show up on routine mammograms. Because of its aggressive nature and the difficulty of diagnosis, it can be easily misdiagnosed or treated incorrectly compared to more common breast cancers. The symptoms below may appear overnight without warning. Doctors often misdiagnose Inflammatory Breast Cancer as a breast infection or mastitis. If you have symptoms, and they do not go away with creams, ointments or antibiotics, in a normal period of time, demand that your doctor rule out IBC. It could save your life. Common IBC Symptoms: • Swollen breast or a painful breast • Persistent itchy breast • Rash on one breast or a bug bite that won't go away • Nipple changes or discharge (including flattened or inverted nipple) • Hardened area in the breast • Swollen lymph nodes under arm or above collarbone Things You Need To Know: • Biopsy, diagnostic mammogram and breast ultrasound are used to confirm the diagnosis. • Insist that your physician take your temperature at initial exam. Mastitis is often accompanied by an increase in body temp, while IBC is not. • Any sudden changes to your breast (sometimes overnight), swelling, constant itching, pain or discoloration need to be taken seriously. See your Doctor. For more information, visit the Inflammatory Breast Cancer site. www.eraseibc.com I was worried as I was due to go on holiday on the Saturday so didn't think I could afford to wait until the 'bite' had chance to heal. My doctor reassured me that it may not be IBC, but also said equally it could be, a 50-60% chance that it was. He gave me antibiotics and creams to cover all minor options, and to treat cellulitis too to cover all the bases and made a further appointment to see me for yesterday. On the 14th June amazingly and wonderfully the rash changed in appearance and became a bullseye pattern. I also felt a bit dizzy and faint. This was the most wonderful thing that could have happened. I had seen that bullseye rash before when I looked up tick bites so I was delighted to find that I 'only' (lol) had Lyme Disease. This was confirmed by my doctor yesterday. I have worked out that I was actually bitten by an infected tick on May 18th at a visit to a petting farm where I fed the sheep so my grandson could watch. I am so glad I didn't let him be close to the animals at all that day. Again I didn't know that tick bites don't come up into a bite or rash until maybe a month after the actual bite. Sometimes there is no rash at all so diagnosis is more difficult. So here's my 2nd bit of advice. If you think you may have been bitten by a tick at all, (and it could be anywhere, even in your hairline) go to your GP. Lyme disease can be very serious if it's not caught early enough. I have 3 weeks of antibiotics which will hopefully clear up the problem in my case. If it doesn't I will need to go back to my GP for help with any further symptoms. Lyme too can be life threatening, but as an alternative to what I thought was wrong with me, I'll take it.