Early diagnosis and dedicated treatment can also save the life of the IBC cancer patient.
It is the type of cancer which blocks the lymph fluid in the skin of the breasts leading to the redness, swelling and warming of the part involved.
Why it is known as inflammatory?
This type of breast cancer is called inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) because the affected breast displays the same symptoms that may occur with inflammation, like swelling, skin redness, and an orange peel like texture of the skin. It seems like breast infection which it is not and later it proves fatal to the life of the patient.
How is Inflammatory Breast cancer (IBC) different from the normal breast cancer?
- IBC does not show the signs of any lump on the breast as normal breast cancer
- IBC does not register itself on mammogram test done for normal breast cancer
- IBC grows and spreads very quickly
- One cannot detect IBC at early stage and till the time it is detected it is already on metastatic (Advanced stage)
- Due to its malignant nature, IBC is difficult to treat than the normal breast cancer
- Erythema (redness)
- Edema (swelling)
- Orange appearance
- Abnormal breast warmth without or with a lump.
The above-mentioned symptoms happen to be present for less than 6 months. The erythema covers a minimum of a third of the breast. Initial biopsy samples in the affected breast show invasive carcinoma.
What are the types of treatments available for IBC?
Multimodal approach involves inflammatory breast cancer being treated first with systemic chemotherapy to assist shrink the tumor, then with surgery to get rid of the tumor, and then radiation therapy.
This type of chemotherapy is offered before surgery in most cases includes both anthracycline and taxane drugs. A minimum of six cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is given during the period of 4 to 6 months before surgery.
This type of treatment can be utilized if a woman’s biopsy samples reveal that her cancer cells possess a tumor marker that may be targeted with specific drugs.
Harmone therapy is given when it is established that the patient woman cancer cells contain harmone receptors that bind with female hormone estrogen to advertise their growth.
Drugs like Tamoxifen, which prevent estrogen from binding to the receptor
and aromatase inhibitors such as Letrozole, which block the body’s capability to make estrogen, can cause estrogen-dependent cancer cells to prevent growing and die.
The breast surgery involves elimination of the entire affected breast and many or all of the lymph nodes underneath the adjacent arm.
This is the part of the multimodal Therapy and involves giving radiation to the chest wall beneath the breast for removing the cancerous cells completely.
Often breast reconstruction surgery is delayed for giving the radiation therapy and if woman own tissues have to be used for the breast reconstruction then radiation therapy too van be delayed.
What are the chances of survival from the IBC or after prognosis?
There are 25-50 percent chances that the patients suffering from IBC will survive but again this is only average survival rate and the survival depends on case to case basis as every person is unique. Patients are encouraged to talk to their doctors about the prognosis.