Inflammatory Breast Cancer

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Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 1-5% of all breast cancer cases in the United States are inflammatory breast cancers.

Inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the breast instead of a distinct lump. IBC tends to grow and spread quickly, with symptoms worsening within days or even hours. It’s important to recognize symptoms and seek prompt treatment. Although inflammatory breast cancer is a serious diagnosis, keep in mind that treatments today are better at controlling the disease than they used to be.

The average age at diagnosis for inflammatory breast cancer in the United States is 57 for white women and 52 for African American women. These ages are about 5 years younger than the average ages at diagnosis for other forms of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, inflammatory breast cancer is more common in African American women. A 2008 study found that being overweight makes a person more likely to develop IBC. Like other forms of breast cancer, IBC can also affect men.

In this section, you can learn more about:

To connect with others who have been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, visit the Breastcancer.org Discussion Board forum IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer).

The medical experts for Inflammatory Breast Cancer are:

  • Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Thomas Buchholz, M.D., F.A.C.R.; Professor of Radiation Oncology; Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology; The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

These experts are members of the Breastcancer.org Professional Advisory Board, including more than 70 medical experts in breast cancer-related fields.

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