Article last updated on March 31, 2014 Background Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a relatively rare type of breast cancer that grows in the lymph vessels of the skin of the breast. Because it usually doesn’t form an easy-to-find lump and because it tends to spread rapidly, IBC is the most deadly form of breast cancer. Because the cancer is in the lymphatic system at the time of diagnosis, IBC is considered a Stage IIIB cancer unless it has already spread to other organs, which would make it a Stage IV cancer for those patients. The median age of IBC patients is about 57, compared to over 62 years old for other breast cancers, but much younger women often get IBC. Statistics for IBC vary, but in North America, IBC accounts for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers. The IBC rate for women of African descent may be as high as 10%. For a long time, doctors considered IBC to be regular breast cancer cells that were more dangerous because they were in the lymph system. Recent research...
Although most breast cancers begin as lumps or tumors, inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with a feeling of thickness or heaviness in the breast. You also may develop red, inflamed skin on the breast. IBC tends to grow in the form of layers or “sheets” of tissue, which doctors sometimes call “nests.”
The breasts swell and become inflamed because the cancer cells clog the vessels that carry lymph. Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that transports white blood cells and removes bacteria and proteins from the tissues.
Common symptoms of IBC include:
Redness of the breast: Redness involving part or all of the breast is a hallmark of inflammatory breast cancer. Sometimes the redness comes and goes.
Swelling of the breast: Part of or all of the breast may be swollen, enlarged, and hard.
Warmth: The breast may feel warm.
Orange-peel appearance: Your breast may swell and start to look like the peel of a navel orange (this is called “peau d’orange”).
Other skin changes: The skin of th...
New research gives another reason for people with rheumatoid arthritis to be extra careful about their weight. People often think that increasing weight also increases a person’s bone mass to support that weight. But a new study from the University of Missouri-Kansas has found just the opposite, that increasing body fat mass decreases bone mass , and is not good for bone health. The researchers suggest that interventions or treatments to reduce obesity may help increase bone mass and thus protect against osteoporosis . The researchers studied used 6,400 healthy adults as subjects studying the relationship between obesity and osteoporosis, found that fat mass was negatively associated with bone mass. That means that greater fat mass equals lower bone mass. There are also other risk factors for osteoporosis and decreasing bone mass that people with RA need to keep in mind. First, some drugs, like glucocorticoids such as Prednisone , can decrease bone...
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