About IBC

In October of 2010, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).  It started as odd firmness in my left breast in May of 2009, but I was pregnant at the time and so no one was concerned about it.  It was not like a "lump".  I breast fed my daughter for 13 months, and over the course of that time my breast developed a little spot of redness here, some orange-rind texture there, and the nipple started to get sucked in.  I saw four different health care professionals over the course of a year, all of whom threw their hands in the air.  I even asked what other types of professionals I should be seeing, and no one had any suggestions.  I finally found a surgeon willing to do a biopsy, and the mystery unfortunately was unraveled.

My story is not unlike others who have had IBC.  It has been ingrained in women's minds to look and feel for lumps, but no one has told us that there is an extremely dangerous breast cancer that manifests with no lumps at all.  According to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation, common symptoms of IBC include:  "
  • a swollen breast,
  • a painful breast, 
  • incessant itchy breast,
  • a rash on one breast, 
  • a bug bite that won't go away,
  • nipple changes,
  • a hardened area in the breast similar to a pencil lead but not a lump.  
  • These symptoms may appear overnight without warning."  

    Please, be aware of inflammatory breast cancer.  It accounts for 1-5% of all breast cancers.  This may seem like a small percentage but trust me, it's not when it's you.

    Please see the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation for the latest research in IBC.

    1 comment:

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