Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is also known as Inflammatory Breast Carcinoma.
It is a very rare and aggressive type of breast cancer that occurs in a very less percentage of women.
However, the growth of this breast cancer type is very fast that it spreads within weeks.
With this breast cancer type, your breast appears red, swollen and you feel very warm. Normally, it develops as a sheet rather than a solid tumor.
Inflammation in the breasts! The inflammation in the breasts is due to the blockage of the lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breasts by the cancer cells, which in turn leads to an obstruction in lymph flow and reddened, swollen look of the breast.
It is found that, in the United States, 1-3% of recently diagnosed breast cancers are inflammatory breast cancers. This type of breast cancer occurs between the ages of 45-55.
You can detect inflammatory breast cancer at a younger age when compared with other breast cancer types.
As inflammatory breast cancer doesn’t develop lumps in the breasts and with unusual cell growth, the symptoms are not usual signs of cancer.
With inflammatory breast cancer, you will notice a change in the size of the breasts, change in the appearance of the breasts where the breasts look red, purple, pink or bruised and swelling of the breasts. Also, you can see change in color of the skin in the region of the nipple.
You may also notice swollen lymph nodes under the armpit and near the collarbone as well as flattening of the nipple.
You may also have a warm feeling in the breast, itching of the breast, breast pain, solidified areas of skin, and a discharge from the nipples. The skin texture of the breast becomes similar to an orange peel.
Remember that there is a possibility of mistaking the symptoms of IBC with a breast infection called ‘mastitis,’ which occurs mostly in breast-feeding females.
Therefore, if you notice any of the above mentioned inflammatory breast cancer symptoms, right away inform to your doctor about these symptoms.
If you are under mastitis treatment and find no changes in the symptoms or if the symptoms remain more than a week after you start taking antibiotics, consult your doctor for a breast biopsy.
However, if your test results show no signs of inflammatory breast cancer and the symptoms seem to deteriorate, again consult your doctor for another biopsy.
Previously, inflammatory breast cancer was treated through surgery and its mortality rate was 100 percent. With the advancements in science and technology in recent years, there is an improvement in the inflammatory breast cancer diagnosis and treatment options.
Thus, inflammatory breast can be treated successfully with a combination of treatments: surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Even it is possible to reconstruct after surgery. However, it is limited to those who go through broad radiation therapy.
In the past, inflammatory breast cancer was fatal but now the recent researches revealed that as much as fifty percent survival rates after five years and a thirty-five percent after 10 years.