Carcinoma of the lactating breast behaves very aggressively.
The signs are:
- an asymetrically enlarged breast
- a flattened or retracted nipple
- oedema of the overlying skin resulting in a "peau d'orange" appearance
- erythema if the tumour is superficial
The rapidity of onset may suggest mastitis but the tumour is not tender.
Breast biopsy is diagnostic.
Treatment is often by irradiation. The prognosis is poor.