Please watch this video to understand how the symptoms of this type of breast cancer are different from the tumor “lumps” we have been taught to look for, and how doctors sometimes fail to diagnose this until it is untreatable.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer include itching, which I’ve posted about before.
Despite its name, inflammatory breast cancer does not cause inflammation the way an infection does. Signs and symptoms include:
- Rapid change in the appearance of one breast, over the course of days or weeks
- Thickness, heaviness or visible enlargement of one breast
- Discoloration, giving the breast a red, purple, pink or bruised appearance
- Unusual warmth of the affected breast
- Dimpling or ridges on the skin of the affected breast, similar to an orange peel
- Tenderness, pain or aching
- Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above the collarbone or below the collarbone
- Flattening or turning inward of the nipple
- Swollen or crusted skin on the nipple
- Change in color of the skin around the nipple (areola)
Other conditions have symptoms resembling those of inflammatory breast cancer. A breast infection (mastitis) also causes redness, swelling and pain, but breast infections usually develop during breast-feeding. With an infection, you’re likely to have a fever, which is unusual (but not unheard of) in inflammatory breast cancer.
Breast surgery or radiation therapy may block the lymphatic vessels in breast skin, temporarily making the breast swell and become discolored. When caused by surgery or radiation treatments, however, these changes gradually subside.