Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of breast cancer that can be very deadly. The disease occurs when cancer cells clog the passages of the lymphatic system which is located in and around the breast. This leads to a swelling of the breast and a spreading of cancerous cells throughout various parts of the breast.

Much of the threat caused by inflammatory breast cancer is its lack of detectability when it comes to a regular mammogram screening. Mammograms are commonly used to diagnose cases of breast cancer in women, but it is hard to detect inflammatory breast cancer using a mammogram due to the nature of the disease. Unlike most types of cancer in which one benign mass forms, in inflammatory breast cancer, ‘nests of tumor material are present throughout the breast in different areas.

Diagnosis Difficult

Since mammograms are used to detect large lumps, it is practically impossible to diagnose inflammatory breast cancer via a mammogram. Thats one of the largest problems with the disease it has an 80 percent mortality rate, most likely due to the fact that the disease is not diagnosed while its in an early stage.

Since mammograms are so ineffective when it comes to diagnosing inflammatory breast cancer, regular self-examinations are necessary in order to ensure that you are not afflicted with this often deadly disease. Be sure to note any changes in appearance in the breast; those with inflammatory breast cancer usually note an increase in size of one of their breasts.

Also, inflammatory breast cancer may be present if the skin of the breast begins to dimple, causing the texture of the breast to be like that of an orange peel. Itchiness and irritation often accompany a case of inflammatory breast cancer, and bruising of the breast may also be present. Also, the breast may be warmer in temperature than normal, and the skin of the breast may grow to be thicker.

Treatment

If diagnosed with a case of inflammatory breast cancer, many of the same treatments used for regular breast cancer patients are employed. Those trying to fight the disease may undergo surgery to remove the tumor material, get radiation therapy, or participate in chemotherapy sessions in an effort to combat the cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer accounts for approximately 5 percent of all breast cancer cases, and it can strike any demographic. The disease tends to strike younger women, and even adolescents, but all age groups are able to contract the cancer.

Males are also able to contract inflammatory breast cancer, although their chance of getting the disease is much lower than the risk that is faced by women. Since the limitations of our medical technologies hinder our ability to accurately detect the disease, if you think that you have symptoms, its important to discuss them with a doctor immediately. If the doctor doesnt think that inflammatory breast cancer is present, it can be helpful to get a second opinion. Your health is your responsibility so its important to be sure that you are safe.