Breast cellulitis

Last revised by Jeremy Jones on 13 Feb 2018

Breast cellulitis is an acute pyogenic inflammatory change involving the dermis and subcutaneous tissue. This can be secondary to any wound, surgery or radiation for breast carcinoma.

  • inflammatory changes such as edema, swelling and redness of the involved breast 
  • no definite palpable mass
  • tenderness
  • fever
  • chills
  • leukocytosis

This inflammation is secondary to an opportunistic infection due to stasis of lymph and secondary bacterial growth therein.

Breast cellulitis may develop weeks to months after the radiation therapy and hence is termed as delayed breast cellulitis. Breast cellulitis develops about 3 to 5 months post radiotherapy.

  • hyperechoic, inflamed breast fat
  • increased vascularity
  • no definite fluid collection (unlike breast abscess)

Treatment is usually with antibiotics and symptomatic treatment. If it persists even following treatment, then a biopsy may be performed to look for cancer recurrence.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.