- You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Inflammatory Breast Cancer usually grows in nests or sheets, rather than as a confined, solid tumor and therefore can be diffuse throughout the breast with no palpable mass.
- Typical symptoms of IBC include breast swelling, itching, warm to the touch, change in color of the breast (pink or red), nipple discharge or retraction, and breast pain (from a constant ache to stabbing pains).
- Because the symptoms are similar to mastitis, a breast infection, doctors will oftentimes prescribe antibiotics. If a response to antibiotics is not apparent after a week, a biopsy should be performed.
- IBC is the most aggressive and accelerating type of breast cancer. Because it has usually invaded the lymphatic system before diagnosis, IBC is typically diagnosed as Stage III breast cancer. Unfortunately, it has often also metastasized to other areas, leading to a Stage IV cancer. (There is no Stage V!).
- Because Inflammatory Breast Cancer makes up only 1% of breast cancers, get your annual mammogram. Mammograms are still a good way to detect the other breast cancers. But if you experience any of the signs or symptoms listed above, make an appointment with your doctor immediately!
- Again, you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.