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IBC - Inflammatory Breast Cancer

ibc illustration
At left, typical redness and swelling
caused by inflammatory breast cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC, is is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer caused by cancer cells blocking lymph vessels in the skin.

It does not present as a lump or mass, and it may not be detected during a breast self-exam. Therefore, all women -- especially those over 50 -- should be aware of IBC due to its resemblance to a more common breast infection (mastitis).

Symptoms of IBC usually include a red swelling and soreness around the effected area which is usually warm to the touch.

Dimpling of the skin (resembling an orange peel) is also common. As IBC begins to effect the lymph nodes, soreness may be felt above or below the collarbone.

Since it is so fast growing, inflammatory breast cancer is typically diagnosed at Stage III or Stage IV. The diagnosis depends upon whether the cancer has traveled only to the lymph nodes, or has spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment for IBC is the same as other types of breast cancer -- including chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Other additional treatment may include hormone or gene targeting to help fight the spread of the disease or slow its growth.

Just up ahead, check out more information on inflammatory breast cancer including more details on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment:


Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Fact sheet from NCI including key points, description and diagnosis.

Inflammatory breast cancer
Mayo Clinic guide to the topic with a photo and clear explanations of causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment.

IBC Research Foundation
This site is dedicated to increasing awareness of the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer with overviews of symptoms, treatments and news on the latest research studies.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Mailing List
The IBC mailing list is for IBC patients, survivors and those who care for them. Lots of information and support!




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