Can’t locate the answer to a question you have? Contact us online or call 1-877-stop-IBC or 1-877-786-7422.
What are the symptoms of IBC?
- Rapid, unusual increase in the size of one breast
- Redness, rash, blotchiness on one breast
- What appears to be a bruise or bug bite that does not go away
- Persistent itching of breast or nipple
- Lump or thickening of breast tissue
- Stabbing pain, soreness, aching or heaviness of the breast
- Feverish (increased warmth) breast
- Swelling of lymph nodes under the arm or above the collar bone
- Dimpling or ridging of breast
- Flattening or retracting of nipple
- Nipple discharge or change in pigmented area around the nipple
- Feeling of “let down” of milk similar to that when nursing an infant
Important: The above symptoms may indicate a benign breast disorder; however see your healthcare professional if a change does not resolve in two weeks on its own. A biopsy may be needed to rule out Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
How do I find a doctor to treat IBC?
Where do you live? We suggest that you call a university research hospital or university medical center. Ask to speak to a breast health nurse. Tell that nurse that you are looking for a breast specialist or oncologist with experience in treating inflammatory breast cancer.
There are many doctors in the United States who are experienced treating IBC. Treatment will take about a year and we suggest you find an experienced oncologist in an area within driving distance of your home.
What is the appropriate treatment for IBC?
Inflammatory breast cancer is treated first with systemic chemotherapy to help shrink the tumor, then with surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation therapy. This approach to treatment is called a multimodal approach. Studies have found that women with inflammatory breast cancer who are treated with a multi-modal approach have better responses to therapy and longer survival.* Read more about IBC treatment.
What are the treatment options in Canada?
Contact the Canadian Breast Cancer Network for information regarding treatment options.
A family member has been diagnosed with IBC, what can I do to help?
Our suggestions will vary based on your request. The more information you are able to provide when you contact us, the better we will be able to assist you. You may want to read the items linked below.
- Trisha Tester prepared a list for those who want to help.
- Terri Gaulkin made a memory book for her mother with IBC.
- Kathy Casey, wrote about her mother, Denise.
- Gayla Little shares good things to know about IBC treatment and a battle with depression.
Can someone answer my treatment related questions?
We cannot give medical advice, but can give information from a patient’s perspective.
Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine has an excellent Cancer Chemotherapy tutorial.
*Citation: “Inflammatory Breast Cancer Questions and Answers Sheet.” National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. www.cancer.gov, 2012. Retrieved from Web 17 May 2012. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/IBC.