Inflammatory Breast Cancer

I really should be working… I’ve been off sick and have heaps to catch up on, however I had a scare earlier this year, and when Cheryl sent me the following email, I felt that I had to assist in publicising this.

NO – THIS IS NOT A HOAX, but I hope that by putting this here, the more people search on the internet, then the more people will read about things like this and know it is real. Please forward any information to lady friends and family if you think this is relevant (I certainly do – otherwise I wouldn’t put it here).

The email I received:

Hi Family and Friends,

Through a friend’s email, I’ve recently become aware of a form of breast cancer called IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer), which is difficult to detect because “often a tumor cannot be felt, and [it] may not be seen on a mammogram.” I had never heard of this type of breast cancer before, so I went to Snopes (a site that confirms/denies “urban legend” emails) and got confirmation that it’s true. My friend had an acquaintance die of IBC a year ago. Snopes has a good, brief summary on IBC. Please take 1 min to be aware:

I checked out Snopes, and it referred me to, where it had a pretty full article about this rare type of breast cancer. You can visit the article here at the inflammatory breast cancer article, however I have also summarised some of the symptoms below.

Symptoms include:

  • Slightly large breast
  • Inverted nipple
  • Rapid increase in breast size
  • Redness
  • Skin hot to the touch
  • Persistent itching
  • An orange peel texture to the breast
  • Thickening of breast tissue

According to the article, apparently Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) accounts for about 6% of all invasive breast cancer cases.

Still get those mammograms, and do check for lumps, but be aware of other changes in your breast and educate your doctor – who would have heard about this at medical school, but apparently would be told that it was rare, and it might not spring to mind.

I try not to be paranoid about this sort of thing, but I’ve been scared once and it’s terrifying.

Ammendment, 24-Jul-2007:

Thanks to Janelle from BreastCancerBlog for the following information and links which complete this post a little better:

Yes I am aware that these are ‘plugs’ of a sort, however I think it is in a good cause.

Comment posted by ozlady
at 7/23/2007 11:39:35 PM

Lady T – I agree that it’s scary, and only through awareness is this sort of thing beaten. Thanks for reading and I hope it sticks in your memory!

Comment posted by ozlady
at 7/23/2007 11:34:36 PM

Janelle – thanks for the links, and I have included them in the main body of the article.

Comment posted by Lady_T
at 7/23/2007 2:52:02 PM

Things like this scare me a lot, much more than I thought it would actually. Illness’ that are now harder to detect by a doctor, just means we have to be a lot more cautious.

Thanks for the article Ozlady.

Comment posted by BreastCancerBlog
at 7/23/2007 11:39:37 AM

You are very right about inflammatory breast cancer. It is rare, but the most aggressive breast cancer type and hard to detect.

With your permission I thought I would offer your readers two other breast cancer information resources. The first is this hour long online breast cancer video called Beyond the Shock. It is free to watch and it broken up into chapters. Second is this breast cancer discussion board. It has blogs, profiles, and interactions.

Thank you and God bless,


You may also like...