What is inflammatory breast cancer?
Before we can move on to the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, we should know what it is exactly. It can be defined as a rare type of breast cancer that develops rapidly, making the breast turn red, tender and swollen. This occurs when the cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels of the breast, causing that specific look of the breast.
This kind of cancer is considered to be a locally advanced one. This means that it spreads from the starting point to the nearby tissues and lymph nodes.
The condition can get dangerous in case it is mistaken with breast infection. In case you happen to notice any changes regarding the skin color of the breast, you should seek immediate medical attention. Most probably the doctor will be able to distinguish breast infection from other conditions as inflammatory breast cancer.
Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer
There are numerous symptoms that you should be looking out for. The most common inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include fast change in the appearance of one of the breasts that could happen in days or weeks.
Also you could experience enlargement, thickness and heaviness of the breast. As it has been mentioned, there is also discoloration of the breast, having a reddish, purplish or pinkish color or having a bruised appearance.
One of the most specific symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer is that the breast is unusually warm. The affected breast could have dimpling or ridges on the skin, similar to an orange peel. Itching, pain, aching or tenderness is also a characteristic of the condition.
Usually not only the breast is affected by the inflammatory breast cancer symptoms, but the nearby area as well. There could be enlarged lymph nodes under the arms, below the collarbone or above the collarbone. The nipple also could show some symptoms in case it is flattened or if it is turning inwards. There could also be nipple discharge that can be bloody or not.
While in case of the other kinds of breast cancer there is a lump formed, the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer doesn’t necessarily include this.
In case you observe a lump or mass that has developed in your breast, you should seek immediate medical attention, because it could be one of the inflammatory breast cancer symptoms. There have been some cases when large lumps have developed in only three weeks.
The mammogram and ultrasound could be misleading, so you should be careful when relying on their interpretations or reports. In the majority of the cases it is one of the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer to grow in nests or sheets rather than in a confined solid tumor. Just remember that it isn’t necessary to have a lump in order to have breast cancer.
Knowing more about the inflammatory breast cancer symptoms offers the patients suffering from it a fair estimate of what lies ahead and of what they can expect to follow.