What are the signs of inflammatory breast cancer?

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If you’ve always had symmetrical breasts and you notice a sudden increase or decrease in the size of one breast, speak with your doctor to rule out IBC. Photo: Pexels

(Amanda Gardner/ Health) — Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer that tends to develop quickly, sometimes in just a few weeks or months. IBC starts in the milk ducts of the breasts and, by the time it has been diagnosed, has usually already spread to the lymph nodes and further.

The distinctive symptoms of redness, swelling, and tenderness are “because cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in the skin overlying the breast,” says Jessica Maxwell, MD, assistant professor of surgical oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Although IBC accounts for only about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers, it has a steeper mortality rate than other malignancies in the breast. (…)

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