Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Stages and Prognosis

Learn about Inflammatory breast cancer Stages and Prognosis. IBC is a highly metastatic, aggressive, and fatal form of breast cancer. Patients presenting with IBC are characterized by a high number of axillary lymph node metastases.

It occurs in all adult age groups. While the majority of patients are between 40 and 59 years old, age predilection is much less pronounced than in noninflammatory breast cancer. The overall rate is 1.3 cases per 100000, black women (1.6) have the highest rate, Asian and Pacific Islander women the lowest (0.7) rates.

Inflammatory breast cancer is called inflammatory because it frequently presents with symptoms resembling an inflammation.

IBC is a rare and very aggressive disease with symptoms that include redness, swelling, tenderness, and warmth in the breast. However, there are very variable Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms, often without detectable tumors. That’s why IBC is not detected by mammograms or ultrasound.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Stages and Prognosis

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) makes up 6% of breast cancer cases in United States, often diagnosed in younger women although average age of presentation does not differ much from other kinds of breast cancer (57 years).

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Stages and Prognosis

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a lethal disease. IBC Stages are determined to estimate the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Prognosis, Survival rates and life expectancy. These IBC staging rules are often used by doctors (oncologists) as a standard way of establishing and discussing the prognosis of inflammatory breast cancer patients.

It is quite understandably, some patients with cancer might want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. But for their doctors it is essential part of their duty to asses their patient’s life expectancy. Below is the brief details on Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stages and Treatment:

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:

  1. Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 3A (IIIA)

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

  2. Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 3B (IIIB)

    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.

  3. Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 3C (IIIC)

    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.

  4. Inflammatory Breast Cancer- Stage 4 (IV)

    IBC Stage 4 means that the cancer has spread to other organs. These can include the bones, lungs, liver, and/or brain, as well as the lymph nodes in the neck. In Stage IV, the cancer would have started to spread to other organs namely bones, lungs, liver, and/or brain, and lymph nodes in the neck.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Prognosis

The prognosis, or likely outcome, for a patient diagnosed with cancer is often viewed as the chance that the cancer will be treated successfully and that the patient will recover completely. Inflammatory Breast Cancer treatment outcome would depend on all of the following factors like:

  1. Stage of the IBC
  2. Size of the lump
  3. Treatment undertaken
  4. Type and location of the cancer
  5. Patient’s age
  6. Medical History and health condition of the patient

Also, Women with Stage III have better chances of coming out of IBC easily than women in Stage IV. Women with grade I or grade II tumors have better prognosis. Chances are less with grade III tumors. Women with estrogen receptor positive have better prognosis.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treatment

Treatment for inflammatory breast cancer is usually more aggressive than treatment for most other types of breast cancer. Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treatment requires a multi-modal approach, involving systematic chemotherapy, followed by radiation therapy. The IBC treatment could includes:

  • Surgery
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Adjuvant Therapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
  • Supportive/Palliative Care

The new inflammatory breast cancer treatment multi-modal approach gives a better prognosis than the earlier treatments with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy alone.

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