Early Signs of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

What is inflammatory breast cancer?

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that occurs when malignant cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. IBC is different from other forms of breast cancer because it commonly does not cause a lump or mass.

This cancer accounts for only 1 to 5 percent of all cases of breast cancer. It has a five-year survival rate of only 40 percent. It’s important to recognize the signs of inflammatory breast cancer and speak with a doctor immediately if you notice changes in your breast.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer

Because IBC is an aggressive form of cancer, the disease can progress rapidly within days, weeks, or months. Because of this, receiving an early diagnosis is extremely important.

While you usually don’t develop a lump that’s characteristic of other breast cancers, you may have several of the following symptoms.

Breast discoloration

An early sign of inflammatory breast cancer is discoloration of the breast. A small section may appear red, pink, or purple.

The discoloration can look like a bruise, so you might shrug it off as nothing serious. But breast redness is a classic symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. Don’t ignore unexplained bruising on your breast.

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