In 2009, shortly after the birth of my daughter, I began to notice changes in my breasts. They became swollen, painful, and warm to the touch. I initially thought it was due to breastfeeding and tried various home remedies, but nothing seemed to help. I consulted my doctor, who conducted a physical exam and referred me to a breast specialist.
After further testing, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the disease. Because it is often mistaken for a less serious condition, I feel it is important to share my story in the hopes of raising awareness of this little-known but deadly disease.
I was originally diagnosed with mastitis, which is an inflammation of the breast. However, my symptoms did not improve with treatment and my breast became increasingly tender, red, and warm. My nipple also inverted and my skin became thickened and peeling. I knew something was wrong and turned to the internet for answers. Based on my symptoms, I suspected that I had inflammatory breast cancer. I consulted with my doctor and confirmed that I did indeed have this rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Table of Contents
What were your first signs of inflammatory breast cancer?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, please see a doctor as they could be indicative of inflammatory breast cancer:
-Swelling (edema) and redness (erythema) that affect a third or more of the breast
-The skin of the breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruised
-The skin may have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d’orange)
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. It often presents with signs and symptoms that are different from those of other types of breast cancer. These include pitting or thickening of the skin of the breast, a retracted or inverted nipple, one breast looking larger than the other, and one breast feeling warmer and heavier than the other. Early detection is critical for the successful treatment of inflammatory breast cancer. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, please see your doctor immediately.
How fast does inflammatory breast cancer grow
Inflammatory breast cancer is a very aggressive form of breast cancer that can grow and spread very quickly. In most cases, it is already at a advanced stage (III or IV) when it is diagnosed, which means that the cancer cells have already spread to the lymph nodes or other tissues. This makes it a very difficult cancer to treat, and the prognosis is often not very good.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, please see a doctor as soon as possible as they may be indicative of inflammatory breast cancer:
-A mass or lump in the breast that is hard, irregular in shape, and does not move when pushed
-Swelling or redness of the breast
-Skin thickening or dimpling
-Nipple discharge or inversion
These symptoms may appear quickly and within a short time of each other, so it is important to be aware of them and to see a doctor if you experience any of them.
What mimics with inflammatory breast cancer?
Benign inflammatory breast conditions that mimic malignancy include infectious mastitis and breast abscess, granulomatous mastitis, and lymphocytic mastopathy. Proliferative breast conditions that mimic malignancy include fat necrosis, stromal fibrosis, and sclerosing adenosis.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a very aggressive form of breast cancer that develops when cancer cells block lymph vessels. Lymph vessels are hollow tubes in your lymphatic system that allow lymph fluid to drain out of your breast. The blockage causes your breast to become red, swollen and inflamed. Inflammatory breast cancer is very difficult to detect in its early stages because it often does not cause a lump or other traditional breast cancer symptoms. If you have any changes in your breast that resemble those of inflammatory breast cancer, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Does inflammatory breast cancer show up in blood work?
If you have inflammatory breast cancer, it means that the cancer cells are growing in the breast tissue and causing inflammation. This can make the breast look red, swollen, and feel hot to the touch. On imaging tests, like a mammogram, these areas of cancer can look like sheets of tissue that are grouped together. Your doctor may be able to feel these areas of thickening on your skin, or see them on a mammogram. Routine blood tests may not pick up abnormalities related to inflammatory breast cancer, so your doctor may need to do additional testing if they suspect you have this type of cancer.
IBC is a type of cancer that is very aggressive and often spreads quickly. The symptoms of IBC are often very severe and can worsen quickly over time. There is no known cure for IBC, but there are treatments available that can help to ease the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.
Does mammogram detect inflammatory breast cancer
There is currently no known genetic component to inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), nor are there any known screening tests available. This is in contrast to other types of breast cancer, which typically show up as a lump or in a screening mammogram. As a result, IBC is often misdiagnosed. This is a serious problem, as IBC is an aggressive form of cancer that can be difficult to treat. If you or someone you know has symptoms of IBC, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis.
One potential reason for the weight gain is the side effect of tamoxifen,1 a common breast cancer treatment. Other potential reasons include stress, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet.1
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and are concerned about weight gain, talk to your doctor about possible treatments and strategies for managing your weight.1
Can you see inflammatory breast cancer on ultrasound?
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. IBC accounts for 1-5% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States. IBC is most commonly diagnosed in younger women, African American women, and women of Hispanic descent.
There are several key characteristics of IBC that are important to be aware of:
– IBC typically presents with sudden onset of breast pain, swelling, and redness.
– IBC often appears as an inflamed, red, and warm breast. The skin of the breast may also be thickened and/or have a peau d’orange (orange peel) appearance.
– IBC may not present with a lump that can be felt on physical examination or seen on mammography.
– IBC is typically McGee stage III or IV at diagnosis.
If you or someone you know presents with these symptoms, it is important to see a medical provider as soon as possible. IBC is a very aggressive form of cancer and the sooner it is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a disease that typically occurs in women younger than 40. Black women seem to have a higher risk ofinflammatory breast cancer than White women. Inflammatory breast cancer can also occur in men. Men are typically older when they are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer when compared with women.
Does inflammatory breast cancer look like eczema
If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, please see a doctor immediately:
-A new rash or skin changes that resemble a rash, such as a red, swollen, itching or burning breast
-A breast that is warm to the touch
-A breast that is larger or misshapen
-A breast that feels hard or thick
-A change in the size or shape of the nipple
-Fluid discharge from the nipple
-Orange-peel skin on the breast
IBC is a very aggressive form of cancer, so early detection is key. If you have any of the above symptoms, please don’t delay in seeking medical help.
The earliest symptoms of IBC may include persistent itching and the appearance of a rash or small irritation similar to an insect bite. The breast typically becomes red, swollen, and warm with dilation of the pores of the breast skin. In some cases, the areola (the dark area around the nipple) may enlarge and the nipple may become inverted. IBC may also cause itching of the nipple and burning or shooting pain in the breast.
What is the best way to detect inflammatory breast cancer?
Breast imaging, such as a mammogram or breast ultrasound, is often the first test performed when breast cancer is suspected.
If breast imaging shows evidence of breast cancer, a biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
There are several types of biopsies that can be performed, but a core biopsy and a skin punch biopsy are the most common.
In a core biopsy, a small sample of breast tissue is removed with a needle.
A skin punch biopsy involves removing a small sample of breast skin.
Both of these types of biopsies are usually done with a local anesthesia, so they are not painful.
After the tissue or skin sample is removed, it is sent to a laboratory for testing.
If the results of the biopsy confirm the presence of breast cancer, further testing will be done to determine the stage of the cancer.
The above conditions may be indicative of breast cancer and warrant further investigation by a medical professional.
What increases risk of inflammatory breast cancer
Overweight or obese status are important modifiable risk factors for IBC of any subtype. Modifiable risk factors such as age at first pregnancy (≥26), breastfeeding and smoking may be associated with specific IBC subtypes. Therefore, it is important to identify and address these risk factors in order to reduce the incidence of IBC.
If you are experiencing redness of the breast, it is important to consult with a medical professional as it could be indicative of inflammatory breast cancer. While sometimes the redness comes and goes, it is still important to have it checked out to rule out any serious concerns.
What does an IBC red spot look like
Inflammatory breast cancer is rare, accounting for only 2-4% of all breast cancer cases. IBC is an aggressive form of cancer that often involves the lymph nodes by the time of diagnosis. A small red spot on the breast that resembles an insect bite or rash may be an early sign of IBC. If you notice any changes in your breasts, please see a doctor as soon as possible.
In some cases, dermatologists may be the first to identify a breast cancer diagnosis. This is because a subset of patients first present with direct extension of an underlying tumor or with a cutaneous metastasis. By being aware of this, dermatologists can play an important role in the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.
How long can you live with untreated IBC
IBC, or inflammatory breast cancer, is a form of breast cancer that typically has a lower survival rate than other types of breast cancer. The median survival rate for people with stage III IBC is approximately 57 months, or just under 5 years. The median survival rate for people with stage IV IBC is approximately 21 months, or just under 2 years. Although the survival rates for IBC are not as high as for other forms of breast cancer, there are still many people who live long and prosperous lives after being diagnosed with IBC.
Inflammatory breast cancer often masquerades as an infection, making it difficult to diagnose. Symptoms can come on suddenly, making it even more difficult to spot. If you have any reason to suspect you may have inflammatory breast cancer, it’s important to see a doctor immediately. With early detection, the chances of successful treatment are much higher.
There is no one definitive answer to this question, as each person’s situation is unique. However, some possible signs that someone may have inflammatory breast cancer include a rapid increase in breast size, unexplained breast pain, nipple discharge, and changes in the skin of the breast (such as warmth, redness, or thickening). If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away so that the cause can be determined.
After a long battle with what I thought was a simple infection, I went to my primary care physician for a second opinion. That’s when I found out that I had inflammatory breast cancer.