Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC, is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. Unlike most breast cancers, which are detected by a mass or lump in the breast, inflammatory breast cancer is often identified by a breast that feels thick or heavy, and becomes red, swollen, and warm.

With inflammatory breast cancer, cancer cells block the lymph vessels of the skin of the breast, causing the breast to appear red or "inflamed." Due to the aggressive nature of this disease, it is important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms, which include:

diagram of five different kinds of IBC symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician immediately. IBC shares clinical similarities to a breast infection called mastitis. However, if you do not respond to antibiotic treatment for infection, you should consult a specialist about inflammatory breast cancer.

IBC is typically diagnosed through a clinical exam, and confirmed with a breast biopsy.

For more information about the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program, call 617-632-2175.

To make an appointment, call 877-332-4294.

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