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Inflammatory Breast Cancer Doesn’t Have A Lump

By Melissa Summers

pinkribbon.jpgMy friend had her mammogram and nothing looked troubling, her technician rushed her results to the radiologist and before she got home 20 minutes later there was a call letting her know that the lump she was feeling was not a tumor. We all breathed a giant sigh of relief.
Then I read at Fenicle. Emily’s cousin was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, a rare but aggressive cancer which does not have a lump. This form of cancer spreads in sheets of cancerous cells and spreads rapidly.
Emily was sharing the story of WhyMommy, a mother of two young boys battling Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She wrote a fabulous post about her story and I’d like you to read it here.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

I guess I’ve always known any change in your breasts can indicate a problem, however I didn’t really know cancer could present itself in this way.
So my friend is in a better frame of mind now that the lump has been ruled as nothing. However I did share this information with her because she found the apparent lump because of some redness and swelling of her breast. She’s seeing a specialist next week to rule out any other issues.
Sometimes it’s uncanny how information comes into your frame of reference at exactly the right time. It’s unlikely my friend has Inflammatory Breast Cancer, but since it’s so rare many doctors don’t know to look for it. At least now she can make sure they rule it out in her case. I can’t quit you Internet.
It’s also an excellent reminder of why we visually examine our breasts each month as part of a self check. You’re looking for, “….redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange).
Pretty much if your breasts act funny, get to the doctor, make sure they are familiar with Inflammatory Breast Cancer and rule it out as soon as possible. Early detection is so important with this aggressive and deadly form of breast cancer.

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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ML
Guest
ML

Thank you. Really.

FENICLE
Guest

THANKS for posting about IBC.
It is so rare & hopefully the women who read this will never experience it, but for the off chance they have symptoms (or a friend or family member) they’ll know!! Probably before their doctor!
I greatly appreciate it Melissa.

joanne
Guest
joanne

I’m glad you wrote about this. My aunt died recently from IBC. My aunt had noticed something wrong with her breast, but never did anything or saw a doctor. This had gone oon for more than 6 months. Finally at a family holiday, I spoke to my aunt and cousins about finding a benign lump in my breast and the resulting removal. 3 months later she finally went to the doctor. She had her breast and lymph nodes removed. She went through several chemo and radiation treatments. She was clear for almost 3 years, then it began again. It spread… Read more »

Whymommy
Guest

Thanks, Melissa! This is such a sneaky, but deadly disease. Prayers for your friend that she doesn’t have it … but hurrah for her going to get it checked out!

Susan McLaughlin
Guest
Susan McLaughlin

ANY lump should be checked by a surgeon, not just by mammo- my sister didn’t get that advice, was told it was not cancer and it was. Yes, she won a lawsuit against the doctor who did not give the proper advice, but she died last November, at 44.

Em
Guest

I think another important thing is not to think that you’re too young for breast cancer. Sure, it’s statistically less likely to be BC when you’re younger – but that doesn’t make it an impossibility. I was diagnosed at age 27. Cancer is no respecter of age…. Don’t let your doctor fob you off or delay getting things checked out. Waiting another month may seem no big deal, but breast cancers in younger women can be more aggressive (not always, but can). Sometimes you have to be the squeaky wheel. And in the end it’s better to risk putting your… Read more »

Beth
Guest
Beth

I came across this blog because I’m researching IBC. I think I may have it. My doctor instists that it’s just fibrocystic breast disease, which I’ve lived with for years and never have my breast reacted this way. My question is for someone out there who has had IBC. I don’t have all the symptoms on the list. I have one swollen breast with some soreness and it’s warm (not hot) to the touch (it’s not red at all). My nipple is not inverted but it has taken on a cone shape that it didn’t have before. Am I worring… Read more »

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I don’t have any direct relation to this illness but I would strongly recommend you go to a hopsital who specializes in this type of illness. Check into Baylor Hospital, Dallas, Texas. Don’t walk, run.

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

wow, i came across the post looking up symptoms of IBC because my grandma just passed from it. and now i am experancing somethings that i never had before- I am a 29 year old female. About a month ago, my left breast started to itch, at first it was just slightly. Then about a week after the itching started i noticed a red spot under the skin, (not a perfect circle) the spot is on the oppsite side of the breast from where the itching is accruing. i was visiting my mother in denver and because my grandma just… Read more »

debra
Guest
debra

I live on long island and am being treated for possible breast infection. I have read that that is usually when you breast feed. I do not. I have every possible symptom except reverted nipple. I am looking for a surgeon who has experience with ibc so that I can have the proper testing. Any assistance?

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Hi, my name is Dawn and I’m 38 years old. I first noticed my left breast itching about 5 months ago or so. At first it was just once and a while like when I would take my bra off and night or when I would get up in the morning. Now… it itches all the time, driving my crazy! At first it was only when my bra was off but now it’s all the time, even in church and it’s hard to resist the urge to scratch in public. It’s so embarrasing. Do you think that It could be… Read more »