A lump is not among the early inflammatory breast cancer symptoms unlike the other types. IBC disease is very aggressive. Visible abnormal changes in the appearance of either one of your breasts can be rapid. They can manifest within days or weeks. They are warning signs you should never disregard. Seek immediate medical attention for them.
Keep in mind that it is a very deadly type of tumor which is hard to detect through a mammogram or an ultrasound. The cancerous cells look like a nest and don't form into a solid lump.
It is a disease of the breasts that is often misdiagnosed as an infection. Since it is diagnosed as an infection, antibiotics are usually prescribed. However, if antibiotics are unable to clear up the infection, always request for a biopsy. Only a biopsy can correctly detect this inflammatory type of tumor.
A misdiagnosis of its symptoms allows the tumor a bigger chance to spread quickly. When it has spread before it's diagnosed, it requires an offensive type of treatment. There are various types of treatment for inflammatory breast disease but aggressive chemotherapy is the first type of treatment doctors prescribe.
For the other types, a lump is the best indicator. But not with the IBC type. When you check your breasts, look for any of the following inflammatory breast cancer symptoms:
1. Are they inflamed?
Inflammation or swelling of any part of either one of your breasts is not healthy. It is one of the first signs. It is caused by the tumor clogging the lymphatic vessels of the skin on the breast.
2. Do they itch?
Sometimes, the nipple area itches but it's not normal if it's a persistent itch. Itchiness around the nipple or breast area is another sign you should not disregard.
3. Do they feel sore when touched?
Soreness and tenderness when your breasts are touched are symptoms you normally feel before your menstrual period. But they can mean something more if these signs are not relieved even after you have had your menstruation.
4. Is one of your breasts swollen?
Enlargement or swelling of any of your breasts up to a cup size bigger is unusual and can be symptoms of inflammatory BC disease.
5. Do you feel pain your breasts?
Pain is one of the symptoms you should never ignore because it is usually a sign of a tumor at its advanced stage. The pain you should take note of is the throbbing or the stabbing kind.
6. Does any of your breasts look discolored or bruised?
Discoloration or a bruised appearance are symptoms of inflammatory breast disease as well.
7. Do they feel unusually warm?
The skin on both breasts feel unusually warm when touched. This is because of the inflammation inside.
8. Does the skin look dimpled?
Check the skin of your breast area. If the skin appears dimpled and ridged like the peeling of an orange (a condition known as peau d'orange), see your doctor as soon as you can.
9. Are the lymph nodes under your armpit and above or below collar bone enlarged?
Enlarged or swollen lymph nodes are usually symptoms of tumor in progression.
10. Do your nipples look unusual?
Some women have inverted nipples but if yours are not and now they are, see your doctor. If your nipples aren't flattened but they are now, be aware that they are warning signs.
If you have said yes to any of the symptoms outlined above, don't delay in having yourself checked. Immediate treatment is necessary. If your doctor confirms it's IBC, discussing the treatment options available is your next step.
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