Inflammatory Breast Cancer Alert
Perhaps you've received an email recently warning of another kind of breast cancer called Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Well, it's no hoax. It's all true.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a silent killer, a cancer that none of us were taught to recognize. While we've been encouraged to perform monthly self-exams, see the doctor annually, receive a baseline mammogram at 35, and begin yearly mammograms starting at 40, most of us have never heard of the most aggressive form of breast cancer, IBC.
IBC does not present with a lump and doesn't show up on mammograms. It may begin with the appearance of a bug bite. Some women were even given antibiotics by their doctors who had never seen a case before and didn't recognize it for what it was. Symptoms include:
- rapid increase in breast size
- skin that is hot to the touch
- persistent itching
- thickening of breast tissue.
Click here for a link to the transcript and an embedded video of a May 7 newscast about IBC. The video is entitled "Silent Killer: Inflammatory Breast Cancer".
By no means should you stop performing your monthly self breast exams, visits to your doctor, or mammograms as that is how the bulk of breast cancer will be detected. But now you know a few more things for which to watch. Take care of yourselves, ladies. If you won't do it for you, do it for your family because they love you, need you, and want you around for a long time.
H/T to Carole of Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy who emailed me the story.
UPDATE: I just visited the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation and found another list of symptoms to watch for and lots of other information.
Check out their site here.
One or more of the following are Typical Symptoms of IBC:
- Swelling, usually sudden, sometimes a cup size in a few day
- 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
- What appears to be a bruise that does not go away
- 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 aureole