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A Mammogram Couldn’t Detect This Woman’s Breast Cancer Disguised as a Skin Rash

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We all expect breast cancer to appear as a mysterious lump in the breast, but it can take other forms. Now 46-year-old mother of two Jennifer Cordts is working to raise awareness of inflammatory breast cancer after a mysterious red spot on her breast passed several medical examinations, blood tests, and even a mammogram without being diagnosed as what it was: Stage 4 breast cancer.

Cordts says that when she first spotted the redness she was not sure what it could be, but her doctor saw it and ordered a mammogram to rule out cancer.

Her mammogram came back normal, with no sign of a lump, and her blood work looked good, too. Her doctor even said that the red spot must have been caused by an ill-fitting bra or something.

But it didn’t go away.

Cordts bought new bras, and she saw a different doctor. That doctor gave her an antibiotic for the mysterious red spot. This went on for almost a year. At one point Cordts Googled the symptoms herself, and the first result was something called Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Cordts was terrified, because inflammatory breast cancer is a very rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. It’s often misdiagnosed, for the same reasons it was with Cordts, and the pages she was looking at told her that it is basically always fatal.

inflammatory breast cancer

(Image: Screenshot / First Coast News)

Finally, a biopsy was able to give Cordts a diagnosis. It was IBC, and it was stage 4.

“It took my breath away,” she said to First Coast News. “I remember him saying inflammatory breast cancer. And all I could think about was what I Googled. Because what I Googled said everybody dies. That nobody survives. So, I knew my fate right then.”

Cordts was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer a year and a half ago, and doctors told her she could hope for three to five years.

“We’re hoping for five, right?” said her husband.

Cordts says she’s just focusing on living well and making memories in the time she has left, but she also wants to get her story out there so that people know that Inflammatory Breast Cancer is a thing, and to push for more tests if they have symptoms and are concerned, even if a mammogram comes back clean.

(Image: iStock/ monkeybusinessimages)