Can You ID the Signs of Inflammatory Breast Cancer?
Posted: Jun 14, 2015
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare, but especially aggressive form of this disease. Since its symptoms are largely unknown by women or are mistaken for other issues, this disease is often not diagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body. That means survival rates tend to be especially low.
According to the American Cancer Society, the median survival period for those diagnosed in stage three of the disease is about 57 months. Those who are diagnosed in stage four will find the median survival period is about 21 months. The grim numbers arrive from a frequent lack of early diagnosis coupled with the fact this aggressive form of cancer has typically spread by the time it is diagnosed. Complicating matters, the recurrence rate for this form of the disease is also high.
Women who want to increase their odds of early diagnosis will find there are a number of symptoms they can keep their eyes open for. The key, however, is remembering that symptoms of IBC are not the same as other forms of breast cancer. That means those telltale lumps won’t necessarily tell the tale of this particular form of the disease. Instead, women should look for such signs as:
- Sudden formation of a bruise or rash on the breast that is unexplained
- A breast that feels warm or hot to the touch
- Swelling in a breast that is sometimes rather dramatic
- Dimpling in a breast
- Seeping in the skin on the breast
- A sore on the breast that does not heal
- Inversion of a nipple
- Color changes in the breast
IBC is generally diagnosed in women in their 50s, but it can strike those much younger and much older. Any of the above signs should be taken seriously, but it’s important to remember that they may not signal the presence of this disease. Women who are concerned about IBC are urged to speak to a qualified healthcare provider. The signs and symptoms of IBC should be assessed regularly, along with routine self-exams.
About AuthorChoice Cancer Care is an independent, physician-owned cancer center network. Dr. Gregory Echt, a radiation oncologist with over two decades of experience, is the founder of Choice Cancer Care. Choice Cancer Care is among the busiest practices in the country for brachytherapy, or prostate seed implant therapy – a cancer treatment plan for prostate cancer that provides remarkable success rates and fewer life-limiting side effects.
North Texas based Choice Cancer Care is a physician-owned cancer treatment center. Dr. Gregory Echt, a radiation oncologist specializes in the most highly sophisticated methods of chemotherapy and radiation therapy available today.