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What Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

Learn what inflammatory breast cancer is in this Howcast video with expert Marisa Weiss, MD.


"Hi, I'm Doctor Marisa Weiss, president and founder of I'm also a practicing oncologist, and mom, and also a breast cancer survivor. So I'm happy to share information with you today that could help protect your life against breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is relatively unusual. It only accounts for about 1 to 6 percent of all breast cancers to affect women and it tends to be an aggressive from of breast cancer. It comes on with usually pinkness, swelling of the breast and enlargements of the whole breast and only about half the time is there also a lump inside the breast. The reason for the pinkness and the swelling, is the breast cancer cells involve the skin of the breast and kind of block drainage of the fluid draining of the breast and that's why the breast get enlarged. It used to be that inflammatory breast cancer involved a high risk of death. The good news is that with effective treatment from all the disciplines - surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy, together with supportive care, many women who have inflammatory breast cancer can have a long life span and be cancer free. Another thing to notice is it if u have pinkness and swelling of the breast and your doctor thinks it could just be a mastitis which means an infection of the breast go ahead and try the antibiotic treatment that they'll prescribe for you
but if the breast pinkness and swelling does not respond to the antibiotics its important to take it a step further and ask to see a breast specialist because many cases of inflammatory breast cancer are diagnosed on the later side of things because the primary care physician thinks its an infection of the breast - which usually is but if it doesn't respond like an infection should then you need to take to the next step check it out and make sure that there is nothing more serious going on like inflammatory breast cancer."

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