I was reading one of my favorite blogs last night, Workout Mommy, and came across a guest post written by a breast cancer survivor. I was really surprised by what I read. The type of breast cancer that her guest writer, Susan, had suffered was called inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC. I had never heard of IBC before and instantly felt that this was something very important that I wanted to share with my readers as part of our community's How Do You Pink? campaign.
All month long we've been talking about reminding one another about monthly checks for lumps. Regular breast self-exams are extremely important and the key to finding possible cancerous lumps early on. But did you know that there was another form of breast cancer that does not show itself via lump?
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a fast spreading cancer that forms in thin sheets. There are few notable symptoms and they tend to mimic mastitis, bug bites, or sunburn. The IBC research foundation lists the following symptoms:
* Swelling, usually sudden, sometimes a cup size in a few days
* Pink, red, or dark colored area (called erythema) sometimes with texture similar to the skin of an orange (called peau d’orange)
* Ridges and thickened areas of the skin
* Nipple retraction
* Nipple discharge, may or may not be bloody
* Breast is warm to the touch
* Breast pain (from a constant ache to stabbing pains)
* Change in color and texture of the areola
These signs can show on the breast or in the armpit where your lymph nodes are. It is best to begin getting into the habit of self-examination several days after your period ends when your breasts are likely to be in their "normal" state. IBC is deadly and spreads faster than almost any other cancer. Susan's post stated that only 40% of patients survive 5 years after diagnosis. Please begin a routine of regular self-examination and report ANY changes to your doctor.
How Do You Pink? Please share this post and information with someone that you know, you may just save a life.