What to Know About Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

IBC is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer. Its symptoms look a lot like an infection or allergic reaction and are often the same symptoms as those found in some benign breast diseases. This makes diagnosis difficult. These are common symptoms of IBC:

  • Red, pinkish, purple, or even orange appearance (harder to see with dark skin tones)

  • Warm to the touch

  • Heaviness, aching, and tenderness 

  • Welts

  • Burning or itching

  • Hives

  • Change in skin texture (for example, it may be pitted, have ridges, or look like the skin of an orange)

  • Swelling (as much as a bra cup size in a couple of days)

  • Persistent dark spots that look like bruises

  • Change in the color or appearance of the areola (the dark area around the nipple)

  • Pain in your breast (sharp, stabbing pains or persistent aches)

  • Discharge from your nipple, or a change in the way it looks 

  • Swollen lymph nodes under your arm and/or near your collarbone

IBC grows and spreads (metastasizes) rapidly and is very serious. If these symptoms don’t disappear when treated with antibiotics, you may need a biopsy to figure out exactly what is causing the changes in your breast. 

Schedule a Mammogram at Richmond University Medical Center

Early detection and treatment is the best strategy for a better cancer outcome. Schedule your mammogram at RUMC: Call 718-818-3280.

Kathy Giovinazzo is Director of Radiology at Richmond University Medical Center.

For More Information

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Thomas Forlenza at 718-816-4949. His office is located at 1366 Victory Blvd on Staten Island.

Dr. Forlenza is the Director of Oncology at Richmond University Medical Center.

© 2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.