Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory carcinoma blocks certain vessels within the skin covering the breast. Inflammatory carcinoma (IBC) is rare and accounts for under 1-5% of all breast cancers. Although it's often a sort of invasive ductal carcinoma, it differs from other sorts of carcinoma in its symptoms, outlook, and treatment. IBC tends to occur in young women (younger than 40 years of age). IBC is often at a locally advanced stage when it’s first diagnosed because the carcinoma cells have grown into the skin. (This means it's a minimum of stage III.) IBC grows and spreads quickly; therefore the cancer may have already spread to nearby lymph nodes by the time symptoms are noticed. This spread may cause swollen lymph nodes under your arm or above your collar bone. If the diagnosis is delayed, then the cancer may spread to distant sites.

If inflammatory carcinoma (IBC) is suspected, one or more of the subsequent imaging tests is also done:

•        Mammogram

•        Breast ultrasound

•        Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan

 If the cancer has spread outside the breast to distant areas it’s stage IV.  In most cases, treatment is chemotherapy first to undertake to shrink the tumor, followed by surgery to get rid of the cancer.


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