Monday, August 25, 2008, 11:12 AM
Have you heard of it? Would you recognize it if you saw it?
A friend of mine just sent me this video of a news report about
Inflammatory Breast Cancer or IBC. It can not be detected by breast
examinations - there are no lumps!
Inflammatory breast cancer is an especially
aggressive type of breast cancer that can occur in women of any age
(and, although extremely rarely, in men). It is unique because it often
does not present with a lump and therefore often is not detected by
mammography or ultrasound.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) causes changes in the nipple and the
surrounding areas. Invasion of the local lymphatic ducts impairs
drainage and causes swelling of the breast. The accumulation of fluid
causes the skin of the breast to assume a dimpled appearance
reminiscent of the peel of an orange. Other symptoms include rapid
increase in breast size, redness, persistent itching, skin hot to the
touch. IBC often initially resembles mastitis, and is sometimes
misdiagnosed as an insect bite.
Inflammatory breast cancer is defined histologically by the presence of
cancer cells in the subdermal lymphatics on skin biopsy. Diagnosis is
done with an MRI or biopsy.