Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Signs, symptoms and treatment


Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Signs, symptoms and treatment

Journal of Cancer Research and Immuno-Oncology is an open access rapid peer reviewed journal in the field of cancer research. Here we discuss about Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Signs, symptoms and treatment.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is rare and accounts for only 1-5% of all breast cancers. Although it is often a type of invasive ductal carcinoma, it differs from other types of breast cancer in its symptoms, outlook, and treatment. IBC symptoms are caused by cancer cells blocking lymph vessels in the skin causing the breast to look "inflamed."

Signs and symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) causes a number of signs and symptoms, most of which develop quickly (within 3-6 months), including:

  • Swelling (edema) of the skin of the breast
  • Redness involving more than one-third of the breast
  • Pitting or thickening of the skin of the breast so that it may look and feel like an orange peel
  • A retracted or inverted nipple
  • One breast looking larger than the other because of swelling
  • One breast feeling warmer and heavier than the other
  • A breast that may be tender, painful or itchy
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes under the arms or near the collarbone

How is inflammatory breast cancer diagnosed?

Imaging tests

If inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is suspected, one or more of the following imaging tests may be done:

  • Mammogram
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan

Stages of inflammatory breast cancer

All inflammatory breast cancers start as Stage III (T4dNXM0) since they involve the skin. If the cancer has spread outside the breast to distant areas it is stage IV

Treatment of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Treating stage III inflammatory breast cancer

  • Chemotherapy (possibly along with targeted therapy)
  • Surgery and further treatments

Treating stage IV inflammatory breast cancer

Patients with metastatic (stage IV) IBC are treated with systemic therapy. This may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy (if the cancer is hormone receptor-positive)
  • Targeted therapy with a drug that targets HER2 (if the cancer is HER2-positive)

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Media contact:

Maegan Smith

Managing Editor

Journal of Cancer Research and Immuno-Oncology

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