Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
(IBC; Inflammatory Carcinoma of the Breast; Inflammatory Breast Carcinoma)
- Being a woman (Men can also get breast cancer.)
- Personal history of breast cancer
- Family members with breast cancer
- Changes in breast tissue
- Changes in certain genes
Increased exposure to estrogen over a lifetime through:
- Starting menstruation at an early age
- Starting menopause at a later age
- Not having children or having children later in life
- Not breastfeeding
- Taking hormone replacement therapy for long periods of time (eg, Prempro for more than four years)
- Tobacco use
- Increased breast density
- Radiation therapy before the age of 30 years
- Overuse of alcohol
- Rapid change in the size, shape, or feel of one breast (can occur over days or weeks)
- Discoloration of the breast; breast may appear red, purple, pink, or bruised
- An area of the breast that looks like the skin of an orange
- Thickened areas of skin
- Breast feels warm to the touch
- Changes in the nipple, such as flattening, turning in, retracting, or areola color change
- Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm or above or below the collarbone
- Breast pain
- Biopsy (excisional or skin)—a sample of tissue is removed and examined for cancer cells
- PET scan —to look for any sign of the cancer outside of the breast
- Hormone receptors
- HER2 gene—suggests an aggressive form of cancer
- Anthracyclines (eg, doxorubicin or epirubicin )
- Taxanes (eg, paclitaxel or docetaxel )
- Antimetabolites (eg, capecitabine )
- Lumpectomy (may also be called tylectomy or quadrantectomy)—removal of the breast cancer and some normal tissue around it (Often, some of the lymph nodes under the arm are also removed.)
- Segmentectomy—removal of the cancer and a larger area of normal breast tissue around it
- Simple mastectomy —removal of the breast, or as much of the breast as possible (The surgeon will try not to remove lymph nodes.)
- Radical mastectomy—removal of the breast, chest muscles, the lymph nodes under the arm, and some additional fat and skin (This procedure is only considered in rare cases. It is done if the cancer is found in the chest muscles.)
- Modified radical mastectomy—removal of the whole breast, the lymph nodes under the arm and, often, the lining over the chest muscles
- Axillary lymph node dissection—removal of the lymph nodes under the arm (This will help find any cancer cells that have entered the lymphatic system.)
- External radiation therapy—radiation directed at the breast from a source outside the body
- Internal radiation therapy—radioactive materials placed into the breast in or near the cancer cells
Hormone receptors—some cancers have hormone receptors attached to them. Certain drugs can target these receptors to help control or eliminate the cancer. This hormone therapy may include drugs such as:
- Aromatase inhibitor
HER2—Cancers with the HER2 gene tend to be more aggressive. Drugs that may be effective against HER2-positive cancer include:
- Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
- Lapatinib (Tykerb)
- Women aged 20 or older may perform a breast self-exam (BSE) every month. Report any changes to your doctor right away.
Women aged 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam by a health professional every three years. Starting at age 40, women should have a clinical breast exam every year.
- A breast exam should be done more regularly if there is a family history or there have been previous breast biopsies.
Breast Cancer.org http://www.breastcancer.org/
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation http://www.ibcresearch.org/
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Women’s Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/
Breast cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated August 2009. Accessed August 7, 2009.
Inflammatory breast cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI%5F2%5F6X%5FInflammatory%5FBreast%5FCancer.asp . Accessed August 6, 2009.
Inflammatory breast cancer. National Breast Cancer Foundation website. http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/about-breast-cancer/inflammatory-breast-cancer.aspx . Accessed August 7, 2009.
Inflammatory breast cancer: questions and answers. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/sites-types/ibc. reviewed 8/29/2006 . Accessed August 6, 2009.
LaRusso L. Breast cancer. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated February 2009. Accessed August 7, 2009.
Symptoms. Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ibcresearch.org/symptoms/ . Accessed August 6, 2009.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -