Deb, all breast cancer, including inflammatory breast cancer, (IBC) can have up to four stages. Because IBC is an aggressive cancer that is in the lymphatic system of the skin of the breast, it is automatically a Stage IIIB cancer no matter how early it is caught. Untreated, IBC would proceed to Stage IV. The details of the symptoms a person would experience at Stage IV would depend on where the cancer cells traveled. In the bad old days before doctors figured out a way to treat IBC, they sent IBC patients home and told them their breast cancer was "inoperable." The average length of survival at that time was about 18 months. I'm a 12 year IBC survivor, so I'm very glad I chose treatment. Although IBC is still a very serious diagnosis, combining chemo with surgery and radiation has significantly improved the survival rate.
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