Inflammatory Breast Cancer

https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/inflammatory

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1% of all breast cancer cases in the United States are inflammatory breast cancers.

Inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the breast instead of a distinct lump. IBC tends to grow and spread quickly, with symptoms worsening within days or even hours. It’s important to recognize symptoms and seek prompt treatment. Although inflammatory breast cancer is a serious diagnosis, keep in mind that treatments today are better at controlling the disease than they used to be.

The average age at diagnosis for inflammatory breast cancer in the United States is 57 for white women and 52 for African American women. These ages are about 5 years younger than the average ages at diagnosis for other forms of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, inflammatory breast cancer is more common in African American women. A 2008 study found that being overweight makes a person more likely to develop IBC. Like other forms of breast cancer, IBC can also affect men.

In this section, you can learn more about:

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Symptoms and Diagnosis

https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms

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Breast cancer symptoms vary widely — from lumps to swelling to skin changes — and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all.

In some cases, a lump may be too small for you to feel or to cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own. Often, an abnormal area turns up on a screening mammogram (X-ray of the breast), which leads to further testing.

In other cases, however, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. 

It’s important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.

According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:

  • swelling of all or part of the breast
  • skin irritation or dimpling
  • breast pain
  • nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • a nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • a lump in the underarm area

These changes also can be signs of less serious conditions that are not cancerous, such as an infection or a cyst. Again, it’s important to get any breast changes checked out promptly by a doctor.

Breast self-exam should be part of your monthly health care routine, and y…

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Treatment and Side Effects

https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment

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In recent years, there’s been an explosion of life-saving treatment advances against breast cancer, bringing new hope and excitement. Instead of only one or two options, today there’s an overwhelming menu of treatment choices that fight the complex mix of cells in each individual cancer. The decisions — surgery, then perhaps radiation, hormonal (anti-estrogen) therapy, and/or chemotherapy — can feel overwhelming.

Breastcancer.org can help you understand your cancer stage and appropriate options, so you and your doctors can arrive at the best treatment plan for YOU.

In the following pages of the Treatment and Side Effects section, you can learn about:

Planning Your Treatment 
What types of treatment are available, the most likely sequence of treatments, treatment options by cancer stage, and fitting treatment into your schedule.
Getting a Second Opinion
Reasons for getting a second opinion about your treatment plan, how to go about getting one, and what to do once you’ve got it.
Surgery
Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), mastectomy, and lymph node dissection, and what to expect from each. Also included: Prophylactic surgery and breast reconstruction.
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Press Releases

https://www.breastcancer.org/about_us/press_room/press_releases

Media are encouraged to contact the Breastcancer.org office at (610) 642-6550.

Archives:

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Media Contact Information

https://www.breastcancer.org/about_us/press_room/contact_info

For interviews with key spokespeople, media are encouraged to contact the Breastcancer.org office at (610) 642-6550.

President, Founder, Spokesperson:

Marisa Weiss, M.D.

Dr. Marisa Weiss

President and Founder

Breastcancer.org

Marisa Weiss, M.D. is the founder, president, and guiding force behind Breastcancer.org, the world’s most utilized online resource for medical and personal expert information on breast health and breast cancer — reaching 27 million people globally over the past 10 years. A breast cancer oncologist with more than 20 years of active practice in the Philadelphia region, Dr. Weiss is regarded as a visionary advocate for her innovative and steadfast approach to informing and empowering individuals to protect their breast health and overcome the challenges of breast cancer.

Dr. Weiss currently practices at Lankenau Medical Center, part of the Main Line Health Hospitals of the Thomas Jefferson University Health System in the Philadelphia area, where she serves as director of breast radiation oncology and director of breast health outreach. She also served on the National Cancer Institute Director’s Consumer Liaison Group from 2000 to 2007.

Dr. Weiss is the author of four critically acclaimed books on breast cancer and breast health, published by Random House: Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer, coauthored with her mother, Ellen Weiss (1998, 2010); Taking Care of Your “Girls:” A Breast Health Guide for Girls, Teens, and In-Betweens, coauthored with her daughter, Isabel Friedman (2008); and 7 Minutes!: How to Get the Most from Your Doctor Visit (2007).

As a renowned leader in the field of breast cancer, …

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Join Our Team

https://www.breastcancer.org/about_us/jobs

Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete, and up-to-date information about breast cancer and breast health as well as an active and supportive online community. Our mission is to help women and their loved ones make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast health and breast cancer, so they can make the best decisions for their lives.

Meaningful work

Being a member of the Breastcancer.org team provides you with the opportunity to be a part of a very special group of people doing extraordinary work. As a member of our team, you will play an important role in delivering vital information to millions worldwide. Our work is serious, and our staff is passionate and hard-working. You will enjoy interacting with a very dedicated and committed team, many who are breast cancer survivors, but many who just want to help.

Learn more at About Breastcancer.org.

Volunteers

We welcome volunteers to help in our Ardmore, PA office, especially for our local fundraising events. For more information about volunteer opportunities, please call the main office number at 610-642-6550.

Equal opportunity employer

Breastcancer.org is an equal opportunity employer and is fair in all of its employment practices for persons without regard to gender, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, age,color, race, or religion.

Current employment opportunities

There are no current openings.

We offer excellent benefits, competitive wages, and flexibility for work/life balance.

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What to Expect When Taking Tykerb

https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/targeted_therapies/tykerb/what_expect

Tykerb is prescribed with the chemotherapy medication Xeloda or with the hormonal therapy medicine Femara. All three medicines are pills that are taken orally.

You can take Tykerb indefinitely in order to keep the cancer under control. Your doctor would only stop you from taking Tykerb if the cancer stopped responding to it or if you experience any severe side effects.

If your doctor decides to prescribe Tykerb, you may be eligible to enroll in the Patient Assistance Foundation, sponsored by Novartis (the maker of Tykerb). For more information, you can also call 1-800-277-2254.

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Hormonal Therapy Side Effects Comparison Chart

https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/comp_chart

Getting the best breast cancer treatment can feel like a balancing act: you want to do as much as you can to get rid of the cancer and reduce the risk of it coming back. But you’d like to avoid uncomfortable side effects that might lower your quality of life.

When choosing a hormonal therapy medicine, you and your doctor will weigh the benefits and possible side effects of each one. Together, you will decide on a hormonal therapy treatment plan that’s right for you and your unique situation.

The table below gives you a summary of some of the most common possible side effects of the different hormonal therapy medicines so you can do a general side-by-side comparison.

For more information on any of these side effects, visit the Treatment Side Effects section.

PDF Version – 135KB

Comparison chart of hormonal therapy side effects

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Tips From Real Women on Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/recur_metast/blog/tips-from-real-women

by Jen Uscher

After a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, it may be difficult to grapple with your fears about the future and keep moving forward. You might feel overwhelmed when you’re faced with making decisions about your treatment, managing treatment side effects, and juggling work and family responsibilities.

Many people find the insights and support of others living with metastatic breast cancer particularly useful as they try to find a new normal.

Here, members of Breastcancer.org’s community share the strategies that have helped them cope and live well with metastatic disease.

Don’t hesitate to ask for and accept help

“I would encourage anyone [with metastatic breast cancer] to learn to ask for help. As a mother of four, I have had to learn to let a little bit of control go to make my life easier. Seek help, whether it be meals prepared by others, cleaning services, childcare help, etc.”
-Leftfootforward

“I needed so much help with my young family during my treatment, but I was surrounded by many people who were willing to step in and help our family during this stressful time. Extreme challenges often bring out the best in people, and I am forever changed by the love and thoughtfulness of those who prayed for me, took care of my children, brought meals, and visited me.”
-Springlakegirl

Talk with your medical team about what they can do to help you feel better

“Side effects of drugs/treatment can be managed. Talk to your doctors. I was so sick with A/C chemotherapy and on the third cycle I finally said something. A few changes and my fourth cycle was amazing. Changes in dosage of Xeloda have helped with my hand-foot symptoms. Be honest about how you feel and see if your team can help make you feel better. Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions. There are none. And don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Even if it means finding another medical provider.”<…

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