Inflammatory Breast Cancer

(IBC; Inflammatory Carcinoma of the Breast; Inflammatory Breast Carcinoma)

Definition

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an aggressive form of breast cancer . It is different because it grows in more of a sheet-like shape and brings changes to the skin in response to inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body is fighting infection, injury, or irritation. The changes in the skin appear similar to other conditions like mastitis . Early diagnosis and treatment are important with IBC. The sooner it is found, the more favorable the outcome. IBC is rare in women and extremely rare in men.Breast Changes Associated With IBC
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Skin changes that resemble the skin of an orange and/or inversion of the nipple may be signs of IBC.Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. Eventually these uncontrolled cells form a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant growths. These growths invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. It is not clear exactly what causes these problems in the cells, but is probably a combination of genetics and environment.

Risk Factors

The average age for women with IBC (59 years old) is lower than that of women with other breast cancers. Other factors that may increase your risk of IBC include:
  • African American race
  • Obesity
  • History of flattening, crusting, or retraction of the nipple
  • History of mastitis that doesn't respond to antibiotic treatment
  • Family members with breast cancer
  • Increased breast density
Note: Studies show that most women with known risk factors do not get breast cancer. Many women who get breast cancer have none of the risk factors listed above.

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