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Inflammatory breast cancer is a common disease among women, mostly from the age of 40 years. Experts have identified several types of pathology, among which emit an inflammatory form.

What is an inflammatory breast cancer: general information

Breast cancer is diagnosed most often in women over the age of 40 years. The pathological process affects the glandular tissue, gradually spreading to healthy areas.

The inflammatory form of the disease is rarely established. It received its name as a result of the development mechanism. The original altered cell enters the milky duct. It is from there that the pathological process begins, which in its clinical picture resembles purulent inflammation.

A characteristic feature is the absence of a node or seal in the affected area. As a result, it is difficult to establish cancer in a timely manner.

In addition, pathology is characterized by an aggressive course. The pathological process rapidly spreads to healthy cells and penetrates into the deep layers of tissue.

Metastasis occurs in the early stages. Mutated cells penetrate the lymph and penetrate distant organs.

Classification of inflammatory breast cancer

In medicine, there are several types of breast cancer in accordance with the characteristics of the pathological process:

  • Intraductal.
  • Papillary.
  • Medullary.
  • Metaplastic.
  • Carcinoma.
  • Cancer Paget’s.
  • Inflammatory.

These are the main forms of malignant diseases in which the mammary glands are affected by the pathological process.

Inflammatory cancer is classified as disease 3B stage, regardless of the time of onset of symptoms, their intensity and the area of ​​spread of mutated cells.

Causes of inflammatory breast cancer

The exact causes of the occurrence of the inflammatory form of breast cancer has not been established. It is believed that the main provocateurs of the occurrence of the pathological process are genetic predisposition and hormonal changes.

Also, scientists suggest that the causes of cancer may be early or late birth, the natural aging process of the body, obesity.

Factors that increase the likelihood of the spread of mutated cells include the presence of metastatic lesions in the lymph nodes, bad habits, a wrong lifestyle, breast injuries, and breastfeeding.

It is believed that exposure to chemical, toxic substances, radiation exposure can provoke the occurrence of a pathological process.

Inflammatory breast cancer can develop on the background of mastopathy, diabetes, endocrine diseases.
Clinical picture

The first signs of an inflammatory form of breast cancer are itching, irritation and redness of the skin. Puffiness of soft tissues can be observed.

Women note that as a result of the pathological process, the affected breast increases in size. Palpation feels warm. Pain and itching first occur when touched, then are permanent.

Symptoms of an inflammatory form of cancer are also a change in the nipple, the appearance of discharge from them. Disturbed skin structure. It looks like an orange peel. The area around the nipple darkens.

A bruise may be found on the affected chest. As mutated cells proliferate, the lymph nodes located in the armpits are enlarged.

Diagnostics of IBC

It is difficult to promptly establish breast cancer of the inflammatory form, since it is similar in its symptoms to mastitis. In addition, one of the features of the disease is the absence of compaction at the site of injury. Breach is not established by mammography.

The only reliable diagnostic method is biopsy. According to experts, only with the help of this technique can you determine the presence of the disease.

Inflammatory breast cancer

In order to determine the stage of development of the pathology, the patient is assigned magnetic resonance or computed tomography. Layer-by-layer scanning of the affected tissues allows the degree and depth of the inflammatory process to be established.

An x-ray examination is used to detect the presence of metastatic lesions. In some cases, bone tissue scintigraphy can be prescribed. Techniques are used to determine the number of metastases affecting the bones.

The specialist conducts a differential diagnosis, as the pathology is similar to other inflammatory breast diseases. Accurate diagnosis is established only on the basis of a study of all research results.

Treatment options for inflammatory breast cancer

The main method of treatment for breast cancer is the surgical removal of affected tissue. Improve the forecast allows a combination of several techniques.

Operative treatment of inflammatory breast cancer

In accordance with the area of ​​distribution of the pathological process mastectomy can be used. The procedure involves the preservation of the organ and resection only of the affected tissues. But this technique is used in rare cases, since the disease may develop again.

Often lumpectomy is used, in which the mammary gland and lymph nodes located in the armpit are completely removed.


The use of chemotherapeutic drugs can reduce the size of the lesion of the pathological process, reduce the risk of complications. Chemotherapy is prescribed before and after surgery, which helps to significantly improve the prognosis.

The choice of drugs, the determination of the duration and number of courses is carried out by the attending physician based on the results of diagnostic measures.

Radiation therapy

Also used as an additional technique. Most often prescribed in combination with chemotherapy. Used before the procedure to remove the source of the pathological process.

After the course of treatment, when establishing an inflammatory form of cancer, a woman most often requires a procedure to restore the appearance of the mammary gland.

Complications of IBC

The disease is characterized by an aggressive course. Mutated cells rapidly spread through the body, penetrating the blood and lymph.

As a result, metastatic lesions are observed already in the early stages of the development of pathology. The most dangerous complication is fatal. Death occurs on the background of a malfunction of the organs where metastases are formed.

That is why you should not delay the treatment of inflammatory breast cancer.

Further prognosis in case of establishing the disease is unfavorable. This is due to the rapid development of the pathological process, the early formation of metastases.

Even after treatment, the average life expectancy is no more than 3 years. If untreated, the pathology develops rapidly, and death occurs within 1-2 years.

How to prevent IBC?

Special preventive measures of inflammatory breast cancer does not exist, since specialists cannot determine the exact causes of its development. Oncologists recommend to follow the general rules:

  • Eat right.
  • Stick to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Change habits.
  • Avoid breast injuries.
  • Eliminate stress, neurosis.
  • Maintain immune system.

Also, women should conduct their own breast examinations every month for various changes. In the case of signs of pathology, it is important to immediately consult a doctor. Minimize the risk of complications will allow only timely treatment.

Inflammatory breast cancer is a dangerous disease. A characteristic feature of the pathology is the absence of a tightness in the chest. As a result, it is difficult to establish the presence of a malignant lesion in the early stages.

In addition, even after treatment, the prognosis is poor. This is due to the high risk of re-developing the disease. To reduce the likelihood of developing the disease can be achieved through adherence to the rules of prevention and regular examinations by a doctor.

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