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Types & Stages

 
Types & Stages

Chapter: 5 - Types & Stages

Subchapter: 7 - Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer is another uncommon but aggressive form of cancer, in which abnormal cells infiltrate the skin and lymph vessels of the breast. This type of cancer usually does not produce a distinct tumor or lump that can be felt and isolated within the breast. Symptoms begin to appear when the lymph vessels become blocked by the cancer cells; the breast typically becomes red, swollen, and warm. The breast skin may appear pitted like an orange peel, and the nipple’s shape may change, causing it to appear dimpled or inverted.

Typically, Inflammatory Breast Cancer grows rapidly and requires aggressive treatment. It may be classified as Stage 3B, 3C, or even Stage 4, depending on your physician’s diagnosis and the results of your biopsy. The treatment most oncologists recommend includes initial chemotherapy followed by a mastectomy and chest wall radiation therapy. The doctor may recommend additional chemotherapy and hormone treatments following radiation.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    I was just diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma grade 2. Anyone out there with same situation? I am leaning towards lumpectomy, but wondering if it is the right way to go?

    Asked by anonymous

    almost 8 years 13 answers
    • View all 13 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I opted for a bi lateral mastectomy, it gave me more peace of mind and I am glad I did it.

      2 comments
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      It would depend on so many different things. You mentioned your tumor is grade 2. Do you know what stage you are? Are you HER2 - or ? BRACA? What do your other tests results say?

      1 comment
  • kate eshleman Profile

    What oncotype number warrants chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Alison Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I had a score of 22. It was in the intermediate range. It gave me a 14% chance of reoccurrence . If I did chemo it would lower it to about 7%. Therefore I decided to do chemo. My doctor said they are doing studies about people in the intermediate range but don't have the data yet. I decided I...

      more

      I had a score of 22. It was in the intermediate range. It gave me a 14% chance of reoccurrence . If I did chemo it would lower it to about 7%. Therefore I decided to do chemo. My doctor said they are doing studies about people in the intermediate range but don't have the data yet. I decided I might regret it if I didn't do all that I could.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It is wonderful this test has helped women make important decision about whether to have chemotherapy or not. Before this test, chemo was the shotgun approach and every woman went into it rather blindly and not knowing whether they truly needed to or not. It is all a matter of statistics and...

      more

      It is wonderful this test has helped women make important decision about whether to have chemotherapy or not. Before this test, chemo was the shotgun approach and every woman went into it rather blindly and not knowing whether they truly needed to or not. It is all a matter of statistics and percentages. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer last December and also had an Onco. test. His number turned out to be barely a 1 so he surely didn't need to go through the riggors of chemotherapy, thanks to this test.
      I so agree with Jo. This is one factor to take into consideration.... all your other test scores add to your decision. It is great to have the opportunity this test gives you.... a real look into the future. Taking all things into consideration, I hope your choice is made "crystal clear" for you. We are always here to support our sisters... and an occasional brother in their decisions. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • sheree oden Profile

    Has anyone had a recurrence in a previous mastectomy ? An identical tumor came back 10!yrs later in the tissue surrounding an implant where my left breast had been. Next week I will have a re mastectomy, followed by radiation and more chemo.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Lisa S Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Recently diagnosed in my lymph nodes on my chest wall as well as many lymph nodes regionally after mastectomy chemo radiation and hormonal therapy. First dx 1/2010 this time 2/2012. Prayers and hugs going your way. Keep in touch.

      1 comment
    • Lisa S Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Recently diagnosed in my lymph nodes on my chest wall as well as many lymph nodes regionally after mastectomy chemo radiation and hormonal therapy. First dx 1/2010 this time 2/2012. Prayers and hugs going your way. Keep in touch.

      Comment
  • Lisa W Profile

    My port was just placed, 3/16. 3/23 I will find out when my 1st day of chemo will begin. What can I expect on my 1st day, how should I prepare, is it going to hurt? I will have ACT,Followed by hormone therapy- Tamoxifen.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Lisa. I remember how I felt having my first dose of chemo. It was scary not knowing what to expect. I began in May of last year with ACT as well. As Ali & Terri said, it's important to drink lots of fluids. I like Gatorade & drank lots of it. :). You'll be so glad you have the port when it's...

      more

      Hi Lisa. I remember how I felt having my first dose of chemo. It was scary not knowing what to expect. I began in May of last year with ACT as well. As Ali & Terri said, it's important to drink lots of fluids. I like Gatorade & drank lots of it. :). You'll be so glad you have the port when it's all said & done. There might be a little sting when they place the needle. It only takes a sec but you can ask for numbing cream to put on it to help. After several times, it didn't sting at all. :). They'll put something in your IV for nausea. Then they'll send you home with a scrip for nausea as well (usually Zoloft). Make sure you take as directed Before you begin to feel nauseas. If you wait till you feel nauseous it takes longer to work. I would feel a little yucky a few days afterwards. But as time went by I felt better. You'll probably be receiving the Neaulasta shot periodically to built your white blood cells up. It tends to cause some bone pain/body aches the next day or two. If you'll take Claritin (not Claritin D) the day before chemo, the day of, and for three days after, it will be a tremendous help!!! Going through chemo seems like a long road. I read something that really helped me deal with it better. Try to think of chemo as something thats being done FOR you....instead of TO you. It made a world of difference. It was my friend & ally in beating cancer. After I finished my chemo, I had my mastectomy. My pathology results came back that I had 13 positive lymph nodes, and three were extracapsular extended (which meant the cancer had broken outside the lymph nodes). So it was necessasary to have 8 more rounds of chemo with two different drugs Gemzar/Carboplatin. I began my new chemo 3 weeks after my surgery. I'm in the middle of radiation now. Chemo is doable and very much worth it!!! I'm happy to say that my last PET scan showed no cancer!!!!!!!! You can do this Lisa. We'll be cheering you on! I hope you continue to come back to share. We care! Lots of hugs!!!

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Dear Lisa,

      All great advise from everyone! It is especially important to drink plenty of fluids. I had the port placed in the morning and my first chemo in the afternoon. It was a lot for one day but I didn't feel anything except sleepy. I was extremely lucky because the entire breast cancer...

      more

      Dear Lisa,

      All great advise from everyone! It is especially important to drink plenty of fluids. I had the port placed in the morning and my first chemo in the afternoon. It was a lot for one day but I didn't feel anything except sleepy. I was extremely lucky because the entire breast cancer experience was relatively easy. I had a bad reaction to one of the drugs in my "recipe" but that was just me. I felt tired and a bit weak the 1st 5 days after the treatment but felt fine after that. We live on a little farm and I was out scooping and caring for our animals like normal after that.
      You won't know how you are going to react to the chemo until after you have it. I did not have any mouth sores and I too, am prone to getting them too. I lost my taste for my two favorite things.... coffee and chocolate and developed a craving for salads, and expecially spinach!!!
      Be especially careful guarding your weakened immune system. I stayed away from crowds, and put a sign on my door that asked people who felt they were coming down with something to postpone their visit. I also washed my hands frequently and was fastidious about shielding myself from possibly picking up colds and flu. I also got a flu shot before I started chemo. I did not come down with colds while I was going through treatment.
      Try not to put extra worries on yourself of "what might happen." You feel nothing from the treatment itself. In my recipe they did put in something to relax me so I could always expect a nice little nap.
      I had some very hilarious times while getting my treatments because I was in a room with several other people. We all laughed, we all had naps, and we all ate "junk food." You would think the feeling in that room would be somber.... it was anything but.....! We had fun and much teasing, jokes, and story telling. There are days when you feel lousy BUT in the big picture, they are temporary. Tell the staff about your feelings and if you have questions, ask them! Don't think mistakes can't happen.... I was almost given the wrong drug that I had a horrible reaction to. Before one of my treatments, I asked the infusion nurse if this "drug" was in my mix. She said "Yes" and I kindly informed her I was not to have it because of the reaction I had. She kindly argued with me, and I did the same back to her. I finally stood up and said... "You can go to the oncologist, get it corrected and I would come back at another time." She rounded up my oncologist and to her horror, discovered I was correct. She said it was good I was so insistant. SOOOOO stand up for yourself, you are your own advocate. They are not perfect... and they make mistakes. Approach this with humor, politeness, but be sure you put on your "warrior-wear". You will be ok.... hang in there darlin'. Accept help from your pals, especially if they want to make you meals....yum. Positive vibes, and blessings you way! Sharon

      Comment

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