Inflammatory breast cancer is an especially aggressive type of breast cancer that can occur in women of any age (and extremely rarely, in men).
It is called inflammatory because it frequently presents with symptoms resembling an inflammation. However it can present with very variable signs and symptoms, frequently without detectable tumors and therefore is often not detected by mammography or ultrasound.
Typical presentation is rapid swelling, sometimes associated by skin changes (peau d'orange), and nipple retraction. Other symptoms include rapid increase in breast size, redness, persistent itching, skin hot to touch. IBC often initially resembles mastitis.
Only about 50-75% cases have the typical presentation. Symptoms can be completely atypical such as acute central venous thrombosis as the sole presenting symptom.
IBC makes up only a small percentage of breast cancer cases (1-6% in the USA). IBC is often diagnosed in younger women although average age of presentation does not differ much from other kinds of breast cancer (average age 57 years). African-Americans are usually diagnosed at younger ages than Caucasian women, and also have a higher risk of getting IBC. Recent advances in therapy have improved the prognosis considerably and at least one third of women will survive the diagnosis by 10 years or longer.
Read more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Characterization, Epidemiology, Role of Hormones, Staging, Treatment, Prognosis Factors
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