Sunday, March 3, 2024

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Survival Rate

What Are The Stages Of Ibc And What Do They Mean

Inflammatory breast cancer survivor finds hope with clinical trial

IBC doesnt usually appear like typical breast cancer, and it may be hard to catch early. Because of this, by the time IBC is diagnosed, its progressed to a more advanced stage. IBC is a type of cancer that grows into the skin, which means its already at stage 3 when it develops. So, while it forms in the milk ducts, there’s no way to know a person has the disease until outward signs appear. Usually, you’ll see changes in your skin because the lymph vessels are blocked. Like other types of breast cancer, IBC tends to spread to nearby lymph nodes first.

Part of the diagnostic process involves your care team determining the specific stage of breast cancer. These include:

  • Stage 3B, which means cancer has spread to nearby areas of the breast, such as the ribs and muscles in the chest or the skin
  • Stage 3C, which means the tumor is larger or has spread to nearby tissues
  • Stage 4, which means the cancer has spread to other areas of the body

Its important for an accurate and timely diagnosis and staging so treatment can be started without delay.

Chemotherapy Hormone Therapy And Her2

Treatments after surgery and radiation therapy depend on treatments given before surgery and tumor characteristics, such as hormone receptor status and HER2 status :

  • If chemotherapy was not completed before surgery, the remaining chemotherapy is given after surgery.
  • HER2-positive IBC is treated with HER2-targeted therapy before and/or after surgery.
  • Hormone receptor-positive IBC is treated with hormone therapy.

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What Are The Stages Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Staging of cancer refers to the determination of how far the tumor has spread at the time of diagnosis. Staging is determined by a variety of methods including results from surgical procedures, lymph node biopsy, and imaging tests. Staging is important because it aids in developing a treatment plan.

  • Cancer in situ is referred to as stage 0 because the tumor cells are located in the breast ducts and have not invaded the surrounding tissue.
  • Invasive breast cancers are staged along a scale of I to IV, with stage I being the earliest stage and stage IV representing tumors that have metastasized to other parts of the body like the bones, lungs, or brain.
  • Because inflammatory breast cancers have already spread into the lymphatic vessels and cause symptoms related to this presence in the lymphatic system, all inflammatory breast cancers are stage III or stage IV at diagnosis.

How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Breast Cancer Stages

Inflammatory breast cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Often, there is no lump that can be felt during a physical exam or seen in a screening mammogram. In addition, most women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer have dense breast tissue, which makes cancer detection in a screening mammogram more difficult. Also, because inflammatory breast cancer is so aggressive, it can arise between scheduled screening mammograms and progress quickly. The symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer may be mistaken for those of mastitis, which is an infection of the breast, or another form of locally advanced breast cancer.

To help prevent delays in diagnosis and in choosing the best course of treatment, an international panel of experts published guidelines on how doctors can diagnose and stage inflammatory breast cancer correctly. Their recommendations are summarized below.

Minimum criteria for a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer include the following:

  • A rapid onset of erythema , edema , and a peau d’orange appearance and/or abnormal breast warmth, with or without a lump that can be felt.
  • The above-mentioned symptoms have been present for less than 6 months.
  • The erythema covers at least a third of the breast.
  • Initial biopsy samples from the affected breast show invasive carcinoma.

Imaging and staging tests include the following:

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When To Consider Joining A Clinical Trial

If youre newly diagnosed with IBC, consider joining a clinical trial before starting treatment. For most people, treatment doesnt usually start right after youve been diagnosed. So, theres time to look for a clinical trial.

Once youve begun treatment for IBC, it can be hard to join a clinical trial.

Susan G. Komen® Breast Care Helpline

If you or a loved one needs information or resources about clinical trials, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN or email .

The Helpline offers breast cancer clinical trial education and support, such as:

  • Knowing when to consider a trial
  • How to find a trial
  • How to decide which trial is best
  • What to expect during a trial
  • Information about clinical trial resources

Se habla español.

BreastCancerTrials.org in collaboration with Susan G. Komen® offers a custom matching service to help find clinical trials that fit your health needs, including trials for people with IBC.

Learn more about clinical trials.

Survival For Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Many factors can influence life expectancy for women with inflammatory breast cancer. These include:

  • the exact position of the cancer
  • how big the cancer is and whether it has spread only to the lymph nodes or to other organs
  • how abnormal the cancer cells look under the microscope
  • whether the cancer cells have receptors for hormone therapies
  • how well the cancer responds to treatment

Inflammatory breast cancer can develop quickly and may spread to other parts of the body. So, in general, the outlook with this type is not as good as for women diagnosed with other types of breast cancer. But doctors think that the outlook is improving as breast cancer treatment improves.

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Data Paints A More Complete Picture

The U-M study analyzed data from the National Cancer Institutes known as Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results, or SEER. The analysis was unique in including not only patients who had a diagnosis of IBC based on pathology reports, but also those with clinical symptoms consistent with IBC bringing the number of patients included in the study to nearly 30,000.

The team included two epidemiologists from the U-M School of Public Health: Yaoxuan Xia and Bhramar Mukherjee, Ph.D., chair of the department of biostatistics and a member of the Rogel Cancer Center.

We found that in these additional patients, the incidence rates by race were consistent with previously reported trends. This gave us confidence that our method was uncovering additional cases that had gone underreported in the past or were possibly misclassified in previous analyses, says study senior author Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Evaluation Program at the Rogel Cancer Center. So therefore we believe our study is able to offer the most comprehensive assessment of incidence and survival rates of IBC to date.

Symptoms Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer – Suzy’s Story

Because the lymph channels are blocked, the breast might become:

  • hot to the touch

The breast can also be painful in inflammatory breast cancer, but this is not always the case.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • ridges or thickening of the skin of the breast
  • pitted skin, like orange peel
  • a lump in the breast
  • a discharge from the nipple
  • an inverted nipple the nipple is pulled into the breast

Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms can appear quite suddenly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often confused with an infection of the breast . This is because the symptoms are very similar. Mastitis is uncommon in women who aren’t pregnant or breast feeding and it is particularly rare in women who have had their menopause.

Your doctor might give you a course of antibiotics if they think that you could have mastitis. But they will refer you to a specialist if they think you are unlikely to have an infection or if your symptoms dont clear up after antibiotics.

While inflammatory breast cancer can cause these particular symptoms, its worth being aware of the general symptoms of breast cancer.

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice any change in the look or feel of your breasts.

Your GP usually refers you to a breast clinic for tests.

You might have a:

  • mammogram, which is an x-ray of the breast
  • breast ultrasound
  • biopsy of the skin in the breast
  • biopsy of a breast lump
  • MRI scan of the breast

Other tests may include a CT scan or PET-CT scan, and bone scan

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Clinical Trials For Ibc

Research is ongoing to improve treatment for IBC.

New therapies are being studied in clinical trials. The results of these trials will decide whether these therapies will become part of the standard of care.

After discussing the benefits and risks with your health care provider, we encourage you to consider joining a clinical trial.

Survival Rates For Breast Cancer

Survival rates can give you an idea of what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time after they were diagnosed. They cant tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding of how likely it is that your treatment will be successful.

Keep in mind that survival rates are estimates and are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had a specific cancer, but they cant predict what will happen in any particular persons case. These statistics can be confusing and may lead you to have more questions. Talk with your doctor, who is familiar with your situation, about how these numbers may apply to you.

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When Should I Call My Doctor If I Am Concerned About Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any changes to your breast, even if you dont feel a lump. With further testing, your provider can determine whether IBC may be a concern.

Contact your provider if youre taking antibiotics for a breast infection especially if you have the symptoms of IBC and your symptoms dont improve within a week.

Stages Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

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If you have inflammatory breast cancer, you will have other tests. This is to find out more about the size and position of the cancer. It is also to find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

You may have a CT scan and a bone scan. The results will help you and your doctor decide the best treatment for you.

One of the most common systems to describe the stage of a cancer is the number staging system.

Number staging system

Breast cancer can also be divided into four number stages. Stage 1 is very small and has not spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit. Stage 4 is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Early stage breast cancers usually affect only one small area of the breast. But inflammatory breast cancer usually affects the whole breast and the overlying skin. So it is not usually staged as early.

Inflammatory breast cancer is either a stage 3B, 3C or stage 4. These stages are described below:

  • Stage 3B The cancer has spread into tissue nearby, such as the skin of the breast and the chest muscle underneath. It may have spread to lymph nodes in the armpit.
  • Stage 3C The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the armpit, orbelow the breast bone, either above or below the collar bone.
  • Stage 4 The cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes.

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Women With Inflammatory Breast Cancer Are Living Longer But The Gap Between White And Black Patients Persists

A U-M Rogel Cancer Center study provides an updated, more comprehensive look at trends for this rare, aggressive form of breast cancer over the last four decades.

Women with inflammatory breast cancer a rare, highly aggressive form of the disease are living about twice as long after diagnosis than their counterparts in the mid-to-late 1970s, according to a new University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center study.

The researchers found that from 1973-1977, patients diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, also known as IBC, survived for an average of about 50 months, compared to 100 months for patients diagnosed from 2008-2012.

But despite overall improvements in survival, the analysis showed an ongoing disparity between white patients and Black patients. And while the gap has narrowed slightly over time, white patients today still tend to live about two years longer than their Black peers, the group found.

The incidence of IBC among Black women is also more than 70% higher than in white women, affecting 4.5 Black women out of 100,000 compared to 2.6 white women, according to the study, which was published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Cost And Financial Assistance

The cost of treatment varies depending on the type of treatment and stage of the cancer but can range from $60,637 to $134,682 in the first year after diagnosis.

If you’re struggling to cover the cost of treatment, Golshan recommends looking into organizations that offer financial assistance, such as:

Most hospitals and healthcare facilities have financial counselors who can work out a payment plan with you and direct you to assistance programs.

Additionally, some pharmaceutical companies have set up special funds that cover all or part of the cost of their cancer medicines.

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Susan G Komen Research Spotlight

Komen partnered with the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Milburn Foundation, patient advocates, doctors and researchers to review what is known about IBC and to propose new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment.

A new research tool using a scoring system was proposed as a way to better define IBC to increase diagnostic accuracy and help guide treatment. This research tool uses information from several sources, including a doctors exam of the breast, a pathologists exam of a sample of tumor tissue and imaging.

This research tool is not yet available and needs to be validated in future studies.

*Please note, the information provided within Komen Perspectives articles is only current as of the date of posting. Therefore, some information may be out of date.

What Is A 5

Breast Cancer – A Patient’s Journey with Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

A relative survival rate compares women with the same type and stage of breast cancer to women in the overall population. For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific stage of breast cancer is 70%, it means that women who have that cancer are, on average, about 70% as likely as women who dont have that cancer to live for at least 5 years after being diagnosed.

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer Stages

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Stages are phases defined to help organize the different treatment plans and to understand the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Prognosis better. Inflammatory Breast Cancer Staging has been adapted to meet the specific characteristics of the disease progress. IBC is typically diagnosed in following three stages:

  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 3A

    IBC Stage 3A is when patient has less than one complete breast affected.

  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 3B

    The whole breast is affected, might have spread to issues near the breast, such as the skin or chest wall, including the ribs and muscles in the chest. The cancer may have spread to lymph nodes within the breast or under the arm. In Stage IIIB, the cancer has spread to areas like the breast skin or chest wall. This might also include the ribs and muscles in the chest. Also, the cancer would have spread to lymph nodes that are within the breast or under the arms.

  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 3C

    In Stage IIIC the cancer would have been spread to the lymph nodes under the collar bone and also near the neck. In this stage too, the cancer would have spread to lymph nodes within the breast or under the arm. This stage, the cancer affects the tissues near the breast.

  • What Causes Inflammatory Breast Cancer

    Most inflammatory breast cancer is considered invasive ductal carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma is cancer that forms from cells lining your milk ducts. An invasive ductal carcinoma is cancer that spreads beyond your milk ducts, invading healthy tissue. Researchers dont know what causes these cells to become malignant .

    Inflammatory breast cancer develops when cancer cells block lymph vessels. Lymph vessels are hollow tubes in your lymphatic system that allow lymph fluid to drain out of your breast. The blockage causes your breast to become red, swollen and inflamed. In most cases of IBC, cancer cells spread outward from your lymph vessels. Cancer that has metastasized affects your other organs and is harder to treat.

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