How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Different From Other Types Of Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer differs from other types of breast cancer in several ways:
- IBC doesn’t look like a typical breast cancer. It often does not cause a breast lump, and it might not show up on a mammogram. This makes it harder to diagnose.
- IBC tends to occur in younger women .
- African-American women appear to develop IBC more often than white women.
- IBC is more common among women who are overweight or obese.
- IBC also tends to be more aggressiveit grows and spreads much more quicklythan more common types of breast cancer.
- IBC is always at a locally advanced stage when its first diagnosed because the breast cancer cells have grown into the skin.
- In about 1 of every 3 cases, IBC has already spread to distant parts of the body when it is diagnosed. This makes it harder to treat successfully.
- Women with IBC tend to have a worse prognosis than women with other common types of breast cancer.
What To Look Out For
Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but for many women it will appear asa lump or thickening in the breast tissue. This may be in the breast itself, upper chest or armpit.
You might find it easier to check yourself for lumps in the shower or bath and this will help ensure its something you do on a regular basis. Raise your arm above your head to stretch the breast tissue and using the palm of your hand feel around the breast, not forgetting your collar bone, and under your arm.
Check whether you can see any of the following:
Can I Screen With Ultrasound Instead
An ultrasound scan is also not a reliable stand-alone method of breast screening in young women. Its a useful targeted diagnostic tool for adding extra information when investigating a known abnormality, but its not accurate enough for generally scanning the breast and screening for cancer.
You can reduce your lifetime risk of breast cancer by adopting healthy lifestyle choices while you are still young.
- Be active. Regular exercise is associated with a decrease in the lifetime risk of breast cancer. Read the World Health Organisations exercise recommendations.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause so its important to adopt healthy eating patterns early in life. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and stay away from junk food or make it only an occasional treat.
- Limit alcohol. Alcoholic drinks raise the levels of oestrogen in the body and contribute to breast cancer risk.
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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk
If several members of your family have had breast or ovarian cancer, or one of your family members has a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, share this information with your doctor. Your doctor may refer you for genetic counseling. In men, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase the risk of breast cancer, high-grade prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
If genetic testing shows that you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, your doctor will explain what you should do to find cancer early, if you get it.
All men can lower their risk by keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly.
The Most Common Cancers In Young Adults
The types of cancers seen in young adults are not unique to this age group, but the most common types in this age range are largely different from those in children or older adults.
Some of the most common cancers in young adults are:
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Brain and spinal cord tumors
Even within this age group, some of these cancers become more or less common as people age. For example, lymphomas are more common before age 25, whereas breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers become more common after age 25.
Many other types of cancer can occur in young adults as well.
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If You Have Any Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Screening will not pick up all cancers. Cancer can occur at any time, including between your screening appointments.
Always see a GP right away if you have any symptoms of breast cancer.
Symptoms of breast cancer can include:
- a lump in either breast
- discharge from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Signs And Symptoms Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer causes a number of signs and symptoms, most of which develop quickly , including:
- Swelling of the skin of the breast
- Redness involving more than one-third of the breast
- Pitting or thickening of the skin of the breast so that it may look and feel like an orange peel
- A retracted or inverted nipple
- One breast looking larger than the other because of swelling
- One breast feeling warmer and heavier than the other
- A breast that may be tender, painful or itchy
- Swelling of the lymph nodes under the arms or near the collarbone
Tenderness, redness, warmth, and itching are also common symptoms of a breast infection or inflammation, such as mastitis if youre pregnant or breastfeeding. Because these problems are much more common than IBC, your doctor might suspect infection at first as a cause and treat you with antibiotics.
This may be a good first step, but if your symptoms dont get better in 7 to 10 days, more tests need to be done to look for cancer. The possibility of IBC should be considered more strongly if you have these symptoms and are not pregnant or breastfeeding, or have been through menopause.
IBC grows and spreads quickly, so the cancer may have already spread to nearby lymph nodes by the time symptoms are noticed. This spread can cause swollen lymph nodes under your arm or above your collar bone. If the diagnosis is delayed, the cancer can spread to distant sites.
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Should I Get The 23andme Brca Test
Very few physicians would recommend BRCA testing for the broad population. Less than one percent of people have a BRCA1/2 mutation, so screening everyone isnt practical or ethical. Youd end up with a lot of false positivesmeaning the test says you have a mutation, even though you dontbecause no test is 100 percent accurate. But it is often recommended that you get a test if you have a family history of breast cancer, or if a family member has a known BRCA mutation.
Before home DNA tests, youd have to go to a genetic counselor to discuss whether you should get a BRCA test at all. The National Society for Genetic Counselors argues that this should still be the standard. Anyone who has a strong personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer and is interested in finding out more about their individualized risk should consult with a genetic counselor to discuss their genetic testing options, or to discuss their results, said Erica Ramos, President of the NSGC, in a statement. Though its never a bad idea to go talk to a counselor, not everyone still agrees with that idea.
Theres no one right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should get the test or whether you should talk to a counselor. But it cant hurt to talk to a medical professional.
Just Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer At 25
Tonight has been a surreal moment after finding a lump in left breast, and ultrasound identifying enlarged lymph nodes, it has sadly been confirmed that i have invasice ductal breast cancer – a tripple negative breast cancer in my case. I am 25 with no real family history, so it is all a bit shocking.
i however had prepared myself fully for this news, and when they told me, i felt strangely calm and ok with this. i am sure i will have my wobbly moments but i know i will fight this.
I am going to have a CT scan and mammogram as it is in my lymph nodes, to check if the cancer has spread anywhere else . But i will start chemo in jan, and have 6 rounds of it. Halfway through my chemo i will have a follow up, and decide what surgery i will be having/what will be neccssary. Then go from there.
I thought i would write on here, to hear from those experiencing similar things, and see how chemo was for you? and also to see if there is anyone my age on here going through the same thing?
So sorry to hear your news. It’s a total shock at any age but to be so young…
I am 41 and was diagnosed on Monday. I am having the same tests as you and feel terrified that they will say it has spread. I also have it in my lymph nodes. But I have been told that they act like sponges soaking up all the bad stuff. So we have got to be positive, although the waiting is excruciating.
Stay brave and I’m sending you lots of positive vibes and a cuddle too.
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Tests To Determine Specific Types Of Treatment
You’ll also need tests that show whether the cancer will respond to specific types of treatment.
The results of these tests can give your doctors a more complete picture of the type of cancer you have and how to treat it.
In some cases, breast cancer cells can be stimulated to grow by hormones that occur naturally in your body, such as oestrogen and progesterone.
If this is the case, the cancer may be treated by stopping the effects of the hormones or by lowering the level of these hormones in your body. This is known as hormone therapy.
During a hormone receptor test, a sample of cancer cells will be taken from your breast and tested to see if they respond to either oestrogen or progesterone.
If the hormone is able to attach to the cancer cells using a hormone receptor, they’re known as hormone-receptor positive.
While hormones can encourage the growth of some types of breast cancer, other types are stimulated by a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 .
These types of cancers can be diagnosed using a HER2 test and are treated with medicine that blocks the effects of HER2. This is known as targeted therapy.
Want to know more?
I Didnt Think It Was Anything Serious At First
At the beginning of 2019, I had so much to look forward to. Everything was on the up in life and I had my first holiday abroad booked with my best friend, so I was super excited. I had symptoms at the beginning of the year, such as discharge, but I wasnt aware it was a sign of breast cancer at the time and just put it down to a change in hormones.
A week after I came back from my holiday, I was just going about my day when I noticed a sharp pain in my left breast that wouldnt go away, and that was the point where I knew there was something more to this, so I did a breast check, which is when I felt the lump. I contacted my doctors surgery and they got me to see a doctor straight away.
The doctor initially thought that it was an abscess, due to me having discharge, and prescribed me antibiotics, but they still referred me to my local hospital to have some more tests done, as I have family members that have also experienced breast cancer, including my mum who sadly died from it.
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Recently Diagnosed Breast Cancer 28 Years Old
I’m not really sure why I’m writing this. I was diagnosed with grade 2 breast cancer on Monday . I’m an healthy 28 year old. I’m currently feeling so angry and I don’t know what to do!! Xx
Hi there Dee32
You certainly dont sound horrible. You sound the same as the rest of us when given a cancer diagnosis.
You are very young to have breast cancer and well done for following your gut to get diagnosed. Follow Dee Doherty or nikki Kirsten on youtube. They are both very young breast cancer warriors.
I hope it helps xxx
You don’t sound horrible at all. I have just been diagnosed with BC at the age of 30 and I feel incredibly angry. I have a 6 month old baby and I feel overwhelmed with fear and rage in equal measures. Being told your fertility can be affected when you haven’t been able to start or complete your family is truly gutting.
If I am offered the chance to harvest my eggs , then I think I will be taking that chance. I want to make my own decisions and not have them made for me. I have already been forced to stop breastfeeding my darling son, which is already one choice made for me by cancer which is one choice too many.
I am also very healthy, young, vegetarian, don’t smoke and barely drink, no family history – our odds of this happening were tiny. But it happened anyway.
Good to hear from you and even better to hear that you are feeling okay, all things considered.
Who Was Your Support System And How Did They Help You Get Through This Difficult Time
Im very fortunate that I had a great and large support system. My fiancé, both of our families, and my best-friends were my support system. There were days when I didnt reach out for the help as thats the kind of person I am but just knowing I had people in my corner for absolutely anything was comforting for me.
They were always checking up on me, sending message of love, celebrated every milestone with me and make it feel special. I liked things to remain as normal as possible and be treated normally.
My fiancé was my biggest support. He would do little things to remind how beautiful I was daily, he was patient with anything I needed hed make me feel comfortable in public when not wearing a wig and always lend an ear and hug whenever I really needed it. It was the little things that really got me through.
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‘i’m Happy With My Mastectomy’
On July 21, surgeons removed her breasts and began reconstruction, per Haneys request. The next day, she tweeted a photo of herself sitting up in her hospital bed: “23 years old, 23 hours after a double mastectomy.”
She included a note of thanks to E! News host and reality TV star Giuliana Rancic, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall at 37 and had a double mastectomy in December. Haney says Rancics public struggle with the disease inspired her and gave her courage.
Rancic saw Haneys message the next day and retweeted it to all of her followers, with an added note of support: Welcome to the club!
There are so many well wishes and amazing women sharing their stories with me on Twitter, Rancic says. What caught my attention about Slayton was her young age and that picture she sent me. It reminded me so much of my own experience.
Haney was thrilled to hear from Rancic. But more than that, she was happy to just connect with other women who knew what she was going through.
After her message, a lot of her followers started tweeting at me and sending me their support, she says. “It was really neata happy surprise.
Haney still has to undergo four rounds of chemotherapy beginning later this month, but she wont go it alone. Her family and friends have rallied around her online, and her boyfriend, Mike, has been a huge help in taking care of her in Orlando. Haney says she is pleased.
Waiting For Full Breast Cancer Diagnosis During Covid
The reading I did seemed that people did reconstruction as the final thing but my surgeons did it as the first, they called the surgery nipple skin sparing mastectomy with reconstruction. I’m waiting to see if I have to.have chemo radiotherapy I do waiting to see what areas.
I googled a lot but the Macmillan nurses are the best people the other thing they did was give me literature to take home and read based on the conversations I had with the surgeons. I go back and read based on what bit of treatment I am on, its alot to take in.
If anyone has questions please let me know. Praying for everyone’s health and happiness
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The Brca1/brca2 Genetic Health Risk Report Is Not A Comprehensive Cancer Screening Test
More than 1,000 variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are known to increase cancer risk.
Our Genetic Health Risk report focuses on only three out of the more than 1,000 risk variants that are among the most studied and best understood. These three variants are most common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and are much less common in people of other ethnicities.
Breast Cancer Nows Information Was Fantastic
The information leaflets that I was given at the start and throughout my journey were so helpful and they explained everything in so much detail, so that I was able to understand things in my head better. When I was in a room with the doctors and they were bombarding me with information, I just wasnt taking it in. All I could think about was How am I going to get through this? and How am I going to tell my family and friends?.
After I had recovered from the surgery and was back on my feet, I decided there and then that I wanted to raise as much money as possible for Breast Cancer Now. Their information booklets helped me so much in understanding everything and I want to help them to be able to fund their life saving research.
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