Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) symptoms may include:

•    Breast swelling, which one breast is suddenly larger than the other
•    Breast that feels warm to touch and may look infected
•    Itching or shooting pain
•    A dimpling of the breast skin that looks like an orange peel (peau d’orange)
•    Thickening of the skin
•    Flattened or discolored nipple
•    Swelling in underarm or only on one side of neck
•    Might feel lump, however lumps are not common in IBC.

We hear a great deal about prevention and early detection in cancer.  While cancer prevention may never be 100 percent effective, many things (such as quitting smoking and eating healthy foods) can greatly reduce a person’s risk for developing cancer, the causes for IBC are unknown and there is not a form of detection prior to a stage three.

This lack of early detection can cause great emotional stress, so it is important that if you are diagnosed with IBC to understand your late stage diagnosis was not your fault.  There is not a way to know you have IBC until the outward physical signs are presented.