Information on Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Author: Juliet Cohen

Inflammatory breast cancer is the most violent type of breast cancer. It is not a new type of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is blocking the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) causes changes in the nipple and the surrounding areas. This type of breast cancer is called “inflammatory” because the breast frequently looks swollen and red, or “inflamed.” IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States. This type of breast cancer that can arise in women of any age. 1to 5of Inflammatory breast cancer cases in the United States are inflammatory breast cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer is typically categorized as stage IIIB breast cancer because of the possible concern of the skin, chest wall, or lymph nodes along the breast bone in the chest wall. It also grows more rapidly and aggressively than the more common types of breast cancer. It tends to occur at younger ages. African-American women appear to be at higher risk of IBC than Caucasian women. Symptoms of Inflammatory breast cancer may comprise redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, frequently without a distinct lump in the breast. The redness and warmth are caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin.

The skin of the breast may also show pink, ruddy purple, or bruised. The skin may also have ridges or seem pitted, like the skin of an orange, which is caused by a buildup of fluid and edema in the breast. Other symptoms comprise heaviness, burning, aching; augment in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted. These symptoms usually grow rapidly over a period of weeks or months. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, beyond the collarbone, or in both places. The usual treatment for IBC starts with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, which means that it affects cells throughout the body.

The use of chemotherapy is to manage or destroy cancer cells, including those that may have spread to other parts of the body. Aggressive chemotherapy is frequently followed by local regional treatment. Radiation is used in most cases, whether or not surgery is done, to more deliberate the disease.  Anti-estrogen and Herceptin  therapy may also have a role. Other forms of targeted therapy, such as Avastin, may be used. Supportive care is treatment given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. It prevents or treats as early as possible the symptoms of the disease.

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About the Author
Juliet Cohen writes for health disorders. She also writes articles for online health tips and skin disorders.

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