Inflammatory breast cancer is the rarest kind of cancer that develops quickly, making the affected breast swollen, red, painful, and tender. Most people ask, “is inflammatory breast cancer hereditary,” the simple answer is no. There is no particular genetic risk found for inflammatory breast cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer transpires when cancer tissues create a blockage in the lymphatic vessels situated in the skin covering the breast, leading to the breast’s characteristic swollen and red appearance.
This type of cancer is known as locally advanced breast cancer — which means it has developed and spread from its site of origin to adjacent tissue and likely to nearby lymph nodes.
People can easily confuse Inflammatory breast cancer type with a breast infection. Breast infection is a much more general cause of breast swelling and redness. You need to get medical help as soon as possible if you observe changes in your breast’s skin.
What Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)?
Most people are unaware of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) disease. It is a rare but antagonistic type of breast cancer that usually looks like a rash or an itching area of the skin. Inflammatory breast cancer blocks the lymph trachea in the skin that covers your breast.
This aggressive form of breast cancer may not be diagnosed on mammogram and ultrasound and is generally misdiagnosed as a breast infection. By the time IBC is diagnosed correctly, it often has widely spread into the skin covering the breast. At times, inflammatory breast cancer has already spread to other sites of your body, too.
How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Distinct From Other Kinds of Breast Cancer?
When we compare inflammatory breast cancer to other types of cancer diseases, we can notice variations like:
- It seems different- usually, IBC comprises no lumps, but your breast might look swollen, red, or inflamed. In general, it is called bug bite inflammatory breast cancer.
- It is challenging to diagnose- it can’t get diagnosed easily with the help of a mammogram.
- IBC is more truculent and grows more rapidly than other cancer types
- This form of breast cancer is to be diagnosed early, particularly among African-American women.
- Inflammatory breast cancer is more likely to affect plus-size women.
- It is usually further along (your healthcare provider may call this form of breast cancer a locally advanced cancer, meaning it’s grown into nearby areas of the skin) when it’s diagnosed.
- At times, it has grown past the breast skin (your healthcare provider will say it has metastasized) when it’s diagnosed, which makes it more challenging to diagnose and treat
The inflammatory breast cancer survival rate is 39%. However, survival rates of inflammatory breast cancer may vary based on the tumor grade, stage, specific features of cancer, and the treatment provided.
Early Stage Signs & Symptoms Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Dissimilar to most general forms of breast cancer, this kind of cancer usually doesn’t cause a lump. The type of cancer grows as sheets or nests under the skin. Below, we will discuss inflammatory breast cancer symptoms.
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) symptoms may include:
- Acute pain in the breast
- Skin variations in the breast site. You may see reddened or pinkish spots, usually with an orange texture.
- A contusion on the breast that doesn’t easily go away
- Abrupt inflammation of the breast
- Irritation on the breast
- Nipple discoloration or discharge
- Swollen lymph nodes, neck or underarms
- These variations usually occur quickly, over weeks.
How Inflammatory Breast Cancer Diagnosis
If you are experiencing some symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, you need to visit a doctor’s clinic. The doctor uses various techniques to diagnose IBC. Different tests, techniques, and procedures help diagnose inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). The inflammatory breast cancer diagnosis includes:
- A physical evaluation: Your healthcare provider assesses your breast to notice redness and other prominent signs & symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer or simply IBC.
- Screening tests: Your surgeon or healthcare provider may suggest an ultrasound or a breast X-ray or mammogram, check for inflammatory cancer symptoms in your breast, such as textured breast skin. Other screening tests, such as an MRI, can also be suggested in specific conditions.
- Eliminate a sample of cancer cells for testing. A biopsy is a technique to eliminate a tiny piece of doubtful breast cells for testing. The breast tissue is examined in a laboratory to look for indications of inflammatory breast cancer. A skin biopsy can also help. This can be done at the time of performing a breast biopsy.
What Treatment Techniques Being Used For Inflammatory Breast Cancer
To treat inflammatory breast cancer or IBC, doctors prefer chemotherapy. The inflammatory breast cancer treatment begins with chemotherapy. If the breast cancer hasn’t grown to other body sites, treatment continues with radiation therapy and surgery. Suppose breast cancer has spread to other areas of the body. In that case, your doctor may also recommend other medication or drug treatments besides chemotherapy to minimize the growth rate of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Doctors use various types of treatment for inflammatory breast cancer depending on the stage and grade of cancer. Different kinds of IBC treatment techniques are:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Palliative care
When you have all the information about inflammatory breast cancer, detecting such forms of cancer is easy. If you or your loved ones are experiencing any inflammatory breast cancer symptoms, you need to take them to a doctor immediately. Not sure where to go for better cancer treatment? We have covered you. Come to University Cancer Centers and get treated with a great ambiance. University Cancer Centers is a private cancer treatment facility that believes in offering patients immediate and the best possible cancer treatment. We treat cancer patients as our family members and provide them with a great environment that helps them recover faster.