Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms

What is IBC?

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is THE MOST aggressive type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. This type of breast cancer is called “inflammatory” because the breast often looks swollen and red, or “inflamed”, sometimes overnight.

Signs of IBC

Because inflammatory breast cancer doesn’t normally occur as a breast lump and has a peculiar growth pattern, its symptoms are not typical signs of cancer, and may appear to be something else.

IBC symptoms may include one or some of the below:

    • A breast that appears discolored; (red, purple, pink or bruised)
    • A hardened area in the breast similar to a pencil lead, not a lump
    • A tender, firm and enlarged breast (sometimes overnight)
    • A warm feeling in the breast (or may feel hot/warm to the touch)
    • Persistent Itching of the breast (not relieved with cream or salve)
    • Shooting or stabbing pain
    • Ridged or dimpled skin texture, similar to an orange peel
    • Thickened areas of breast tissue
    • Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above/below the collarbone
    • Flattening or retraction of the nipple
    • Swollen or crusted skin on the nipple
    • Change in color of the skin around the nipple (areola)

If one or more of these symptoms continue for more than a week, talk to a physician immediately, and find an expert with experience in treating this particular type of breast cancer. Many women have to demand that their physicians “rule out” IBC, and (therefore) become their own best advocate, as more education is needed in the medical community regarding this form of breast cancer.

IBC is treated differently, because it is different.

Clinical Pictures Of IBC

Click here to see photos of clinical signs of Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  The pictures are graphic, but education is powerful.

Medical Disclaimer

The information contained on the ‘’ web site is presented for the purpose of educating people on Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Nothing contained on this web site should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Should you have any health care related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified health care provider promptly.