Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive type
of breast cancerthat develops quickly and can cause the affected breast to become red, swollen, and tender. This type of cancer occurs when cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in the skin that covers the breast, leading to its distinctive red, swollen appearance. Breast pain is usually present to some extent with inflammatory breast cancer, which also has other symptoms.The most common symptom of any type of breast cancer is a new lump or mass (although most breast lumps are not cancerous). A hard, painless mass with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can also be soft, round, tender, or even painful.
Inflammatory breast cancer may have different symptoms than other types of breast cancer. Fibrocystic breast tissue contains lumps that tend to be more tender just before your menstrual period.Therefore, a breast self-exam, a clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. The free resource, Three Steps to Early Detection, can increase your chances of detecting this type of cancer before it spreads. A painless lump in the breast is usually the first sign of any type of breast cancer, although you may not feel it yourself.
It's also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain types of cancer early.Mammograms (low-dose breast x-rays) can help detect a breast tumor long before it is large enough to start causing symptoms and when the cancer is likely to be treated more easily. For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, redness, swelling, itching, and pain are usually signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which can be treated with antibiotics. This condition is usually found when a doctor performs a breast biopsy for another reason, such as to investigate an unrelated breast lump. According to the American Cancer Society, regular mammograms are the most reliable way to detect any type of breast cancer early.However, changes in the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.
We know that it's common to have mental health problems when you have cancer or care for someone with cancer. The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer depend on the part of the body where the cancer has spread and its stage. If you're concerned about any new changes in your breasts, ask your doctor to review your symptoms and determine if a more thorough evaluation is needed.Invasive