Early Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Disease


Inflammatory breast disease (IBC) is a type of breast cancer that accounts for approximately 1 percent of all breast cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Inflammatory breast disease rarely causes a lump like other types of breast cancer; it presents other types of symptoms instead.


Because inflammatory breast disease does not present any warning signs that can be diagnosed with a mammogram, the five year survival rate for the cancer is only between 25 and 50 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. Being aware of the early symptoms of the disease leads to faster treatment, which improves a patient's chances of surviving IBC.


Inflammatory breast cancer progresses very rapidly. The early symptoms usually come on quickly and can worsen in a matter of hours or days.


The most common early symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer are thickness, heaviness and enlargement of one breast, discoloration that makes the breast look bruised, warmth, itching and changes in skin texture, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Often, inflammatory breast disease makes the breast appear dimpled, resembling an orange peel. The sudden swelling caused by the cancer often makes the nipple turn inward or invert.


Women often misinterpret the early symptoms of inflammatory breast disease as a breast infection and rely on home remedies to treat the condition. Anytime sudden swelling, redness or discoloration of the breast occurs, seek prompt medical attention.

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