Things to know about inflammatory breast cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare type of breast cancer accounting for around 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases. Although rare, IBC is quite aggressive because it develops and spreads quickly (in some cases within three to six months). It requires urgent diagnosis and treatment for achieving better outcomes for the affected person.
There are three main parts in a breast: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue.
- The milk-producing glands from the lobules.
- Milk formed in the lobules is carried to the nipples through tube-like channels called the ducts.
- The connective tissue consists of fibrous and fatty tissues that surround and hold everything together.
- invasive ductal carcinoma (breast cancer beginning in the ducts) and
- invasive lobular carcinoma (breast cancer beginning in the lobules).
Other less common types of breast cancer include
- medullary carcinoma,
- Paget’s disease,
- mucinous carcinoma, and
- inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).
The cancer is called IBC because its symptoms appear as though the breast is inflamed or infected. Unlike other types of breast cancer that cause a lump in the breast, IBC does not cause any mass or lump. It instead causes symptoms such as swollen, red, and tender breasts.
Unlike other types of breast cancer that occur in older women, IBC affects younger women (younger than 40 years of age). Because IBC causes nonspecific symptoms and no recognizable lump even on a mammogram, it is generally diagnosed late. This, coupled with its aggressive nature, leads to a poorer outcome in people with IBC than in those with most other breast cancer types.
How quickly do symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer appear
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) classically presents as an inflamed breast with no lump or mass. Inflammatory signs appear because the cancer cells block the lymph channels draining the excess fluid from the breast. Most symptoms generally appear within three to six months of the onset of cancer and include
- Breast edema (swollen breasts)
- Rash or redness involving more than one-third of the breast
- Orange peel appearance of the breast skin (the breast skin appears pitted and thickened like an orange peel)
- Nipple retraction or inversion on the affected side (the nipple appears to point inward)
- Breast asymmetry (the affected breast looks larger and feels heavier because of swelling)
- The affected breast is warm to touch
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Itching over the breast
- Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes under the arms or near the collarbone
Some of these symptoms may occur in noncancerous conditions such as a breast infection. IBC, however, needs to be considered a potential cause and diagnosed early for proper management.
How is inflammatory breast cancer diagnosed?
Your doctor may diagnose inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) by
- Take your detailed medical history including the appearance of symptoms, any underlying health conditions, and any personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer or chest radiation therapy in the past.
- Performing a thorough physical examination of the breasts and other relevant sites.
- Order imaging tests such as a mammogram, breast ultrasound, or breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
- Getting a biopsy done includes taking a small tissue sample from the breast and examining it under the microscope. The biopsy sample may also help stage and grade cancer and determine the presence of special proteins (such as hormone receptors) that help the doctor plan a proper treatment regimen.
Top How Quickly Do Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Can Related Articles
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
What you should know about breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are unknown, although medical professionals have identified a number of risk factors.
- There are 11 common types of breast cancer and 4 uncommon types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer early signs and symptoms include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin (peau d'orange),
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer can also be symptom free, which makes following national screening recommendations an important practice.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by a self-exam of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Young Women & Breast CancerIs breast cancer genetic? Should I get tested for the BRCA gene? What every young women should know about breast cancer. Discover the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and other crucial breast cancer facts.
Breast Cancer: Diet Tips for Breast CancerNo single food or diet plan prevents breast cancer, but what you eat plays a role in how likely you are to get the disease or whether or not it comes back once you’ve had it.
Breast Cancer Follow-Up Self-ExamA breast cancer follow-up self-exam is a test that may help a woman detect a recurrence of the disease. A woman should perform a monthly self-exam of both breasts as well as attend scheduled follow-up appointments to detect any breast cancer recurrence early. Lymph node involvement, tumor size, hormone receptor status, histologic grade, nuclear grade, and oncogene expression help determine the likelihood of a recurrence.
Breast Cancer SlidesLearn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and drug therapies as well as the survival rate for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer PreventionLifestyle changes, a healthy antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and weight reduction can help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It's important to be aware of how risk factors such as family history, lifestyle factors, breast conditions, radiation therapy, and hormonal factors may influence your chances of developing breast cancer. Mammography and breast self-examinations are crucial steps in breast cancer prevention.
Breast Cancer QuizThis Breast Cancer Quiz features signs, symptoms, facts, causes, common forms, terms, risk factors, statistics, and more. Increase your awareness of breast cancer now!
What Should I Know About Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer of American women, but it can also occur in men. Every year in the U.S., there are over 266,000 new diagnoses of breast cancer. A woman has a risk of one in eight for developing breast cancer at some point during her lifetime.
Can You Live a Normal Life After Breast Cancer?With today's advanced treatment and early detection, breast cancer survivors can live a long and full life after breast cancer treatment.
Genetic Testing for Breast CancerIntensive genetic counseling is required before undergoing genetic tests for breast cancer. During this educational counseling session, the health care provider can fully explain the benefits and risks of genetic testing and answer any questions you may have. You will also be required to sign a consent form prior to participating in any genetic tests. The form is an agreement between you and your doctor, showing that you have discussed the test and how its results might affect your family.
Inflammatory Breast CancerInflammatory breast cancer is an accelerated form of breast cancer that is not usually detected by mammogram or ultrasound. Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include pain in the breast, skin change in the breast area, bruise on the breast,sudden swelling of the breast, nipple retraction or discharge, and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Radiation Therapy for Breast CancerRadiation therapy for breast cancer is a form of treatment that utilizes high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Check out the center below for more medical references on breast cancer, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Role of Estrogen Receptors in Breast CancerEstrogen receptors (ERs) are receptors that are activated by the hormone estrogen (one of the female sex hormones). They are found most commonly in the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium), breast cells, ovarian cells, and a part of the brain (the hypothalamus).
Breast Cancer: Visual Guide to Male Breast CancerBreast cancer isn't just a woman's disease. Learn about the symptoms and treatment of male breast cancer, and find out what can put you at risk for this cancer.
What Were Your First Signs of Inflammatory Breast Cancer?Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare but rapidly growing cancer that gives rise to several signs and symptoms, mostly within a span of three to six months. One of the first signs is most likely to be visible swelling (edema) of the skin of the breast and/or redness of the breast (covers more than 30 percent of the breast).