ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Updated on December 5, 2008
Photo by Sammis Co
Photo by Sammis Co

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and little-known but extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that strike both women and men.

It accounts for about 1-5% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States. Unlike other types of breast cancer, it commonly strikes women at a younger age than other forms of breast cancer. It also affects men, though male victims tend to be older than female victims.

Also unlike other forms of breast cancer, it rarely appears as a lump and is difficult to diagnose with routine mammograms or breast exams.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer occurs when cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in the breast. This causes the breast to become swollen, red, and inflamed. Unfortunately, the symptoms are often mistaken for a breast infection such as mastitis, an allergic reaction, or even an infected insect bite.

If your symptoms do not respond to treatment within a week, contact your doctor and ask about inflammatory breast cancer.

Common symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include:

  • pain in the breast
  • sudden swelling of the breast
  • feelings of heaviness, tenderness, burning, or aching in the breast
  • red or pink discoloration, possibly accompanied by oddly textured areas similar to the skin of an orange
  • a bruise-like discoloration of the breast that does not go away
  • itching of the breast
  • nipple retraction and/or discharge
  • elevated temperature of the breast
  • swelling of the lymph nodes in your arm or neck

These symptoms often occur quickly, even within a span of weeks.

If left undiagnosed, IBC can spread and metastasize quickly.

Because inflammatory breast cancer is more likely to have metastasized to other parts of the body by the time of diagnosis, prognosis rates are lower than other forms of breast cancer: a survival rate of about 25-50% over five years. IBC also has relatively high recurrence rates.

For this reason, speedy diagnosis is extremely important. Ask your doctor upfront if you suspect you might have IBC so he or she can begin tests while you are still undergoing treatment for other possible conditions.

Treatment generally involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

IBC: The Silent Killer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Fit Breast profile image

      Fit Breast 

      9 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for the insightful guides and tips. Prevention is always better especially with the unknow virus or cancer poping up every now and then! In fact one of the best ways to detect or prevent breast cancer is through breast massage. As i believe that will be the initial stage to monitor our breasts on a daily basis. As the saying goes"Early detection could safe life!" and screening is the best action to take.

      Fit Breast

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      10 years ago from United States

      Very informative hub! I'd also like to point out that you can have zero symptoms and have IBC and still have this. Don't neglect getting your mammograms, I did and it nearly cost me my life.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)