Inflammatory Breast Cancer; not just a lump.

Inflamotory 1

As soon as someone says ‘breast cancer’ we think ‘lump’… but this isn’t always the case.

There doesn’t need to be a lump in your breast to have breast cancer.

This is one of the reasons why we have been raising awareness of other signs and symptoms throughout our PYB campaign.

This is a rare type of breast cancer. It is called ‘inflammatory’ because the breast tissue becomes inflamed. The lymph channels in the breast can become blocked with cancer cells. As part of our lymphatic system, these channels normally drain excess tissue fluid away from the body tissues and organs, but when blocked, they can’t do this.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) can show different signs and symptoms which we may not necessarily think about going to the doctor with, let alone recognise as being breast cancer.

So what should you look for?

There are no hard and fast rules as to which sign or symptom comes first. You may only have one particular symptom, and that could be completely different to someone else with IBC. We are all individuals, so our bodies do different things.

Because the lymph channels are blocked, the breast may become

  • Swollen
  • Red
  • Firm or hard
  • Hot to the touch

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

Inflamatory 3

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

inflamatory 2

Unfortunately Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms can appear quite suddenly. Sometimes it can be confused with mastitis, where antibiotics may be prescribed. It is important to go back to your GP if you feel the antibiotics aren’t working and pursue further tests.

For more information on diagnosis and treatments for IBC, please use the following link:

For more general breast cancer information from reputable organisations, please use the following link:

We have also been contacted by The IBC Network Foundation who are based in the United States please check out their site also

The team here at Protect Your Breasts want to thank you for your continued support and if there is something you would like to see more information about on our site please get in touch at

Together let’s make C stand for Clear, not Cancer



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