A 43-year-old woman from Cincinnati has revealed how she contracted a rare inflammatory breast disease during a business trip.
Tami Burdick was diagnosed with granulomatous mastitis (GM) in 2017 after she found a lump in her breast.
In an interview with Fox 19, she said: “Learning as much as I could about the rare condition, and I saw the pictures, the horrendous pictures of women who are victims of the disease. It’s a deformity.”
Burdick went on: “It’s a bunch of mixed emotions for sure. You know, I cried. It’s very scary, you know, the uncertainty. You’re wanting answers, but they’re not quite there.”
The GM sufferer found solace in a support group online where she connected with other people who had the same condition, including Dawn Wade.
“I had a lump in my breast,” Wade shared, “and then it grew exponentially from like a small knot to the size of a small avocado within like a week.”
Burdick and Wade dedicated themselves to understanding the causes of the disease.
Dr. Kelly McLean, Burdick’s surgical oncologist, explained that GM can be categorized into sterile and non-sterile types, with the latter caused by bacterial organisms.
After Wade tested her GM, it was discovered that her condition resulted from a bacteria known as Corynebacterium bovis, which likely entered her body while breastfeeding.
She is now recovering after undergoing surgery.
But Burdick’s GM was caused by a different bacteria called Corynebacterium kroppenstedtii. She and her doctors were left baffled as to how she contracted the bacteria as she was not breastfeeding.
“We can also see mastitis in women who aren’t nursing, and it’s that we all have bacteria under our skin, and I’m not sure why some people become susceptible to it,” McLean said.
After researching for months, Burdick found out that Corynebacterium kroppenstedtii is an environmental bacteria linked to water, soil, and sewer.
After checking her previous activities, she and her doctors concluded that she contracted the bacteria during her trip to Connecticut and that she got it from her hotel shower.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!