Inflammatory Breast Cancer – Pictures, Symptoms, Signs, Survival Rate, Prognosis

What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is one of the rarest forms of breast cancer. The cancer rapidly grows and also changes the skin significantly. The cancer makes the affected breast red and swallows. A very distinguished cancer is also known as the locally advanced cancer.

It moves rapidly in the nearby tissues and lymph. The Inflammatory Breast Cancer turns the affected breast red and painful. However, you should be careful to notice it because people often get confused with a breast infection with this disease.

Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer are highly visible and different from the other breast cancers. The reason behind the cancer is cancer cells in the lymph vessels. The common symptoms are the following.

  • The affected breast in the Inflammatory Breast Cancer becomes warm to touch, and burning sensation remains in the affected breast. The symptom is medically known as Erythema.
  • The swelling is another common symptom. The affected breast also turns red. It covers almost one third of the breast and causes immense pain. This is medically known as the Edema.
  • The skin of the affected breast also turns pale and gets pinkish, reddish or purple in colour. The change of colour of the skin is majorly due to the buildup of fluid from the lymph.
  • The inflammation and the lymph node might extend to underarms and in collar bones too.
  • The burning and the pain would be consistent in the Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
  • The nipple sometimes gets inverted.

The symptoms might get overlapped with the infection and other advanced forms of the disease. Hence, it is very essential to understand and observe the symptoms of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer.


The diagnosis can become very difficult at times. It is not only gets mistaken with Mastitis, an infection also creates confusion in the detection. The Inflammatory Breast Cancer is very aggressive and progresses very fast, so sometimes it become difficult to detect the carcinoma even in the Screening Mammogram.

However, Screening Mammogram is the preliminary stage of the Diagnosis. The diagnosis of Erythema and Edema are also another major aspect of the diagnosis part of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

The presence of the symptoms for almost six months may very well indicate the carcinoma and Inflammatory Breast Cancer in women. The coverage of one third of the breast is another checking measure for Inflammatory Breast Cancer. However, biopsy samples and the ultrasonography of the breast might help in the diagnosis.


Treatment of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer depends upon the biopsy reports of the patient. The therapy and the following treatments are very much dependent on the condition of the patient.

Chemotherapy: If the Inflammatory Breast Cancer is localized and has not spread to other body parts then, the Chemotherapy is a major treatment. The success rate however depends upon the localization of the cancerous cells.

Targeted Therapy: This therapy is applied in case the patient has any tumour associated with the Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The target tumour can be treated with the therapy with some special drugs to try and control the spreading of the cancerous cells.

Hormone Therapy: This is also very common method of treatment. If the hormone receptors are present in the biopsy report then, Hormone Therapy is applied on the patient.

Radiation Therapy: This is also a popular method of treatment where large area can be treated with the radiation therapy.

Surgery: This is one of the last treatment procedures of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer where the cancerous cells are removed by the operation.

Adjuvant Therapy and Supportive care: The adjuvant therapy is provided to stop the reoccurrence of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The supportive care and special treatment are also maintained on the patient in order to keep him/her healthy.

Prognosis and Survival Rate

The progenies and the survival rate of the women for Inflammatory Breast Cancer majorly depend on few factors. The most important factors for determining the survival rate for the patient is the stage of the cancer, overall health of the woman, the past medical history and the spread of the cancer.

As the Inflammatory Breast Cancer spreads aggressively and spreads quickly across the body so the survival rate also quite low. The average survival rate for more than five years is roughly around 34% according to the data available for the patients.

However, the percentage of survivals is surging all the time with the modern medical technologies and inventions. However, the Cancer is still considered as one of the most dreadful forms of cancer in women.


right breast inflammtory cancer

Picture 1 – Right Breast IBC

Inflammatory Breast Cancer after radiation

Recurrent inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer signs

Inflammatory Breast Cancer symptoms picture

Image 5 – Pathophysiology of Inflammatory Breast disease

Inflammatory Breast Cancer stages

Picture 6 – Stages of IBC

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