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    Inflammatory Breast Cancer is very rare, and very aggressive. I am alive today because I went to the doctor right away for something that looked like nothing. The doctor who did my ultrasound knew about IBC, so I had a needle biopsy that day and from biopsy to chemotherapy was ten days. It wasn’t a minute too soon.

    IBC is survivable, but timely (and that means FAST, folks) diagnosis and treatment is critical.  If you or someone you care about has any of the following symptoms, get to your doctor and persist until you know exactly what it is. This information is directly from the IBC research site that I have posted in my links.

    One or more of the following are Typical Symptoms of IBC:

    • Swelling, usually sudden, sometimes a cup size in a few days
    • Itching
    • Pink, red, or dark colored area (called erythema) sometimes with texture similar to the skin of an orange (called peau d’orange)
    • Ridges and thickened areas of the skin
    • Nipple retraction
    • Nipple discharge, may or may not be bloody
    • Breast is warm to the touch
    • Breast pain (from a constant ache to stabbing pains)
    • Change in color and texture of the areola

    If you suddenly develop a lump or mass, have it checked immediately. We have one reported case where a 9x8x5cm lump developed in only three weeks.

    Use caution when relying on the interpretations and reports of the mammogram or ultrasound! Inflammatory breast cancer usually grows in nests or sheets, rather than as a confined solid tumor. IBC may not be detected using either mammography or ultrasonography. Increased breast density compared to prior mammograms should be considered suspicious. Remember: You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. (end of import from IBC site)

    My own experience was that a quarter sized rash became a raging hot red breast with an inverted nipple, all in the two weeks it took to get from GP to ultrasound.  When I had my scan it showed a sheet that was 11(!!!#&*) centimeters in diameter.  I was lucky.  Too many women are still losing the battle with IBC because no one shared this information with them.

    Maybe talking about breasts with someone makes you uncomfortable.  Sometimes women get uncomfortable when I share this information.  Never mind.  If she’s the one to five in a hundred breast cancers that is IBC, she will thank both of us for saving her life.

    Please tell everyone you know!

    Thank you so much for reading.


    3 Responses to Inflammatory Breast Cancer

    1. Joan Disney says:

      Hi. I had a similar situation, luckily my husband noticed and had me go to a gyn who was familiar with IBC. I then had a diagnostic mammagram and biopsy. It took an evaluation with an expert in IBC, Dr. Cristofanelli, to set things straight with the surgeon and oncologist I was seeing.
      Are you on an AI (aromatase inhibitor)? This is my next step. I’ve gone thru adjuvant chemo therapy (TCH), a mastectomy, and just finished radiotherapy but I’m hesitating when comes to an AI.

      Keep up the good work,


    2. Allan Birmantas says:

      My wife noticed a red/pink spot on her left breast. We looked up “red spot on breast” on line and were shocked at the possibilities, She will see her primary doctor this morning, and we hope that he knows something about this horrible disease.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Hi Allan,
        I hope your doctor visit was enlightening and calmed your fears…if it is IBC, please take a look at some of my posts on statistics. It is easy to become terrified by too much internet browsing.

        I apologize for taking a few days to respond to your comment. I have been inundated with spam, which makes me tend to avoid my comment stream…took steps to remedy that today.

        Please do keep me posted!

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