When it comes to breast cancer, there are two main types: breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer. While both types of cancer can be deadly, they are different in a few key ways. Here’s a look at the main differences between these two types of cancer.

The first difference is in how the cancer cells look under a microscope. With breast cancer, the cancer cells tend to look abnormal. They may be larger than normal cells or have strange shapes. Inflammatory breast cancer cells, on the other hand, look relatively normal.

Another difference has to do with how cancerous cells grow. With breast cancer, the cancerous cells form into a lump that can be felt through self-exams or mammograms. With inflammatory breast cancer, the cancerous cells grow along the lymph vessels in the skin of the breasts. This growth causes the skin to appear red and inflamed, hence the name “inflammatory” breast cancer.

There are also differences in how these two types of cancers spread. Breast cancer typically spreads to the lymph nodes under the arm first and then to other parts of the body. Inflammatory breast cancer, on the other hand, tends to spread very quickly throughout the body.

Finally, there are differences in how these two types of cancers are treated. Breast cancer is typically treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. Inflammatory breast cancer is also treated with surgery and radiation therapy but may require more aggressive treatment with higher doses of chemotherapy drugs.

While both types of breast cancer can be deadly, it’s important to know that there are some key differences between them. These differences include how thecancer cells look under a microscope, how thecancerous cells grow, how these cancers spread, and how they are treated. By understanding these differences, you can be better informed about your own risk factors and treatment options should you ever be diagnosed with either type of breast cancer.

What is the difference between breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer? Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is considered an aggressive cancer because it grows quickly, is more likely to have spread at the time it’s found, and is more likely to come back after treatment than other types of breast cancer. The outlook is generally not as good as it is for other types of breast cancer.

What were your first signs of inflammatory breast cancer?

What Are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer?
  • Pain in the breast.
  • Skin changes in the breast area.
  • A bruise on the breast that doesn’t go away.
  • Sudden swelling of the breast.
  • Itching of the breast.
  • Nipple changes or discharge.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes under the arm or in the neck.

Can you survive inflammatory breast cancer? The 5-year survival rate for people with inflammatory breast cancer is 41%. However, survival rates vary depending on the stage, tumor grade, certain features of the cancer, and the treatment given. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 56%.

What causes inflammatory breast cancer? It’s not clear what causes inflammatory breast cancer. Doctors know that inflammatory breast cancer begins when a breast cell develops changes in its DNA. Most often the cell is located in one of the tubes (ducts) that carry breast milk to the nipple.

What is the difference between breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer? – Additional Questions

How quickly does inflammatory breast cancer spread?

Inflammatory breast cancer progresses rapidly, often in a matter of weeks or months. At diagnosis, inflammatory breast cancer is either stage III or IV disease, depending on whether cancer cells have spread only to nearby lymph nodes or to other tissues as well.

What age does inflammatory breast cancer occur?

On average, it affects women at younger ages than other forms of breast cancer—often occurring in women under 40, but it has a median age at diagnosis of 57. And though it is very rare, IBC can also occur in men.

Does inflammatory breast cancer appear overnight?

Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms can appear quite suddenly. Inflammatory breast cancer is often confused with an infection of the breast (mastitis).

Does inflammatory breast cancer come and go?

IBC causes a wide range of symptoms, including breast pain, redness, swelling, changes to the breast skin or nipples, and more. Many of the symptoms of IBC come on suddenly and may even appear to come and go. However, these symptoms will become consistently worse as the disease progresses.

Is inflammatory breast cancer hereditary?

A family history of breast cancer in general may increase the risk of developing inflammatory breast cancer, but no specific genetic mutations or changes have been found for this type of breast cancer.

How long can you live with untreated IBC?

IBC tends to have a lower survival rate than other forms of breast cancer3. The U.S. median survival rate for people with stage III IBC is approximately 57 months, or just under 5 years. The median survival rate for people with stage IV IBC is approximately 21 months, or just under 2 years.

Does IBC show up in blood work?

On imaging, these sheets of tissue can resemble nests. Your doctor may be able to feel these areas of thickening on your skin, as well as possibly see areas of higher density on a mammogram. Routine blood tests may not pick up abnormalities related to inflammatory breast cancer.

Can IBC be caught early?

Q: Why can’t IBC be diagnosed earlier? A: Many patients question if there was anything they could have done to catch their diagnosis earlier. IBC is only found after the disease has progressed to stage 3 or stage 4.

Where does IBC rash start?

Early IBC symptoms may include persistent itching and the appearance of a rash or small irritation similar to an insect bite. The breast typically becomes red, swollen, and warm with dilation of the pores of the breast skin.

How do they test for IBC?

How is inflammatory breast cancer diagnosed? A diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer is confirmed by breast imaging, breast core biopsy and a skin punch biopsy. Breast biopsy and skin punch biopsy involves the doctor taking a small sample of breast tissue and breast skin, respectively.

Can IBC be seen on ultrasound?

If a physician suspects IBC, it can be detected with a few different imaging tools, such as ultrasounds or MRI mammograms. The problem with these tests is that they are not completely reliable in detecting IBC; a mammogram alone, for example, only has about a 68% detection rate of IBC.

What does IBC look like?

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include swelling (edema) and redness (erythema) that affect a third or more of the breast. The skin of the breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruised. In addition, the skin may have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d’orange).

What does IBC red spot look like?

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is rare, making up about 2 to 4 percent of breast cancer cases. A small red spot that looks very much like an insect bite or rash can be an early sign of IBC. This type of breast cancer is aggressive. It usually involves the lymph nodes by the time of diagnosis.

What does IBC look like on ultrasound?

Inflammatory cancer is seen as thickening of the skin and an increase in echogenicity of the breast parenchyma. Ultrasound can detect breast masses and search for multifocality with greater sensitivity than mammography.

Does IBC cause fatigue?

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer may appear quickly and within a short time of each other. A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can identify and describe, such as fatigue, nausea, or pain.

Can IBC cause shortness of breath?

If the bones are affected, symptoms may include pain, fractures, constipation or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels. If tumors form in the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain or extreme fatigue.

Can Covid cause breast infection?

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this case is the first account of breast pathology associated with a diagnosis of COVID-19 in the medical literature and encourages systematic evaluations of patients with coronavirus infections, including breast examinations. Keywords: Abscess; COVID-19; breast; vasculitis.