Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that occurs when malignant cells block the skin and lymph vessels of the breast. IBC is different from other forms of breast cancer because it may not cause a lump or tumor. Undoubtedly, breast cancer is one of the most widespread diseases in women. However, the fatality rate has reduced over the recent years due to awareness and medical advancement. Today, the deaths are comparatively low due to breast cancer and if detected early, it is totally curable.
But inflammatory breast cancer is more aggressive than other advanced breast cancers and deaths in these cases are more. Moreover, it is not easy to detect inflammatory breast cancer even by mammogram or ultrasound and you need to visit a professional for diagnosis.
Signs Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
During the initial stages of breast cancer you might come across a bruise or many bruises on your breasts. Notice them for some time and if it is breast cancer then the bruises will not go away, they may fade or change color however. This sign will be very alarming and you should consult a professional about it.
It is understandable that you experience swelling during the periods but if the swelling appears suddenly when you are not menstruating then it may be a sign of breast cancer.
However, many doctors misdiagnose the swelling of breast as infection and treat it with antibiotics so, if you are not satisfied with the opinion, it is better to visit another doctor rather than losing precious time.
Before any other sign, you will experience itching on the breasts. Examine your breasts properly to look for other signs like discharge from a nipple which you think is affected, also see closely if the nipple have inverted or are flattened.
Moreover, you may also notice that the nipples have lost their normal color and the changed color would be in range of dark pink to red.
You will also see several other signs of inflammatory breast cancer like unusual warmth on the breast when you touch it, change in color of breast (it will appear bright red), thick skin under the arm and dimpling of skin on the breast. These signs will help you to get a definite signal and if you feel all or many are evident on your body then act rapidly.
Inflammatory breast cancer signs are something that you cannot afford to overlook so do a monthly self- exam and look for early signs of breast cancer and visit a doctor if anything is suspicious. You can perform self examinations by lying straight on the bed, use the forefinger and index finger of right hand to examine left breast and underarm and vice-versa.
Examine patiently every month with circular movements and check every part of your breast for the above signs or any lump. If you detect anything, there is no need to panic. First of all, calm down and write the signs that you noticed on a piece of paper and discuss them with your doctor afterwards. Take a family member with you for some support that you might need. Follow the doctor’s advice and you will be fine.
Sudden change in breast size
Inflammatory breast cancer changes the appearance of the breasts, and this change can occur suddenly. Because this cancer causes inflammation and swelling, it is common to have breast enlargement or thickness. The affected breast may appear noticeably larger than the other breast or feel heavy and hard. Some women with IBC also experience breast shrinkage, where their breast decreases in size.