Signs and symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include:
- Rapid change in the appearance of one breast, over the course of several weeks
- Thickness, heaviness or visible enlargement of one breast
- Discoloration, giving the breast a red, purple, pink or bruised appearance
- Unusual warmth of the affected breast
- Dimpling or ridges on the skin of the affected breast, similar to an orange peel
- Tenderness, pain or aching
- Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm, above the collarbone or below the collarbone
- Flattening or turning inward of the nipple
Inflammatory breast cancer doesn't commonly form a lump, as occurs with other forms of breast cancer.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms that worry you.
Other more common conditions have signs and symptoms resembling those of inflammatory breast cancer. A breast injury or breast infection (mastitis) may cause redness, swelling and pain.
If you've been treated for a breast infection but your signs and symptoms persist, contact your doctor. Your doctor may recommend a mammogram or other test to evaluate your signs and symptoms.
March 12, 2015
- Breast cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Feb. 18, 2015.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: Questions and answers. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/IBC. Accessed Feb. 19, 2015.
- Dawood S, et al. International expert panel on inflammatory breast cancer: Consensus statement for standardized diagnosis and treatment. Annals of Oncology. 2011;22:15.
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