Whilst most women know about breast cancer and look for lump formations in their breast, many of them do not know that some forms of breast cancer will not have lumps but other symptoms that can be easily mistaken for harmless conditions.
Inflammatory breast cancer is a very rare form of breast cancer that is very aggressive. This is a Locally Advanced Breast Cancer and is found in about 1-5 % of women afflicted with breast cancer.
Symptoms of Advanced Inflammatory Breast Cancer
The bad news is that inflammatory breast cancer being very aggressive, most of the time the patient recognises the condition when it is already in an advanced stage. Again, it is unfortunate that there are no lumps or masses that are distinctively evident in other forms of breast cancer and women mostly ignore it as a simple swelling of the breast and do not associate it with cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer will have breasts that look much bruised. It can be reddish purple, pink or red in appearance according to the skin colour. The bruising will not be associated with any other external condition like damage to the skin or injury. If you find such a bruising on the skin of your breast, make sure that you get the breast checked for inflammatory breast cancer.
Breast tenderness can be a symptom or condition which is associated with pregnancy, menstruation and infection of the breast. Breast tenderness can also be due to inflammatory breast cancer. Here, the tenderness will be much more than the other conditions associated with this symptom.
Breast enlargement too is a common symptom associated with fibrocystic breast disease and also for hormone problems associated with the body. But breast enlargement that is very evident and way beyond the normal limits could be associated with inflammatory breast cancer. It may also be located only in one of the breasts which will help in pinpointing the diagnosis of inflammatory cancer in most cases.
Inflammatory breast will be very warm to touch. This is a symptom that is very common when you have an infection in a particular area of the body. Warmth and tenderness in the absence of any kind of infections in the breast like an abscess may be due to breast cancer.
The first symptom of inflammatory breast cancer is of course inflammation of the breast. As cancer does not appear in both the breasts simultaneously, the inflammation will be mostly concentrated in one breast.
Dents and ridges along with dimpled appearance of the skin is a common symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. Skin will take the appearance of an orange hue in such cases.
Inflammatory breast cancers can lead to the formation of inverted nipples where the nipples will turn inwards.