Monday, April 5, 2010

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of cancer that can develop and spread quickly, even during the early stages of the disease. This type of cancer can develop when breast cancer cells block the lymph vessels to help remove fluids, bacteria and other waste from breast tissue. It may then result in inflammation of the breasts. Unlike most breast cancers, which cause the appearance of one or several different solid tumors, inflammatory breast cancer tends to grow in layers or nests.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer vary from person to person and can occur suddenly. Consult your doctor if you notice one or more of the following symptoms:

    * Changing the size or shape of the breast, the breast volume can take some time (for some women, the equivalent of a cup size bra in a few more weeks);
    * Boobs hot or warm to the touch;
    * Change in color or normal breast texture of the skin of the breast can become red, pink or bruised for no apparent reason (in whole or in patches);
    * Itchy breasts as ointments or creams can not relieve;
    * Sudden onset of a lump in the breast, but as inflammatory breast cancer tends to grow in layers instead of forming a solid tumor, a person with this type of cancer may not necessarily see the presence of a breast lump;
    * Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or above the clavicle;
    * Discharge from the nipple.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer may be similar to a breast infection (mastitis), which can be treated successfully with antibiotics. If antibiotic treatment fails to relieve symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor again. Other tests may be needed to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer is usually detected by mammography or ultrasound unless a solid tumor has developed. The biopsy is the surest way to detect inflammatory breast cancer.

Treatment is often undertaken on the spot because inflammatory breast cancer can spread quickly. We usually use a combination of treatments: chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy. As cancer cells proliferate in inflammatory breast all the breast tissue rather than concentrating in a single tumor, chemotherapy is often administered prior to surgery or radiotherapy.

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