Inflammatory Breast Cancer
An email that started being widely circulated in June 2006 urges women to be aware of a form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), prompting inquiries to health professionals and organizations, including the American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center (NCIC). The email recommends women view a local news story from KOMO-TV in Seattle, which reports that the condition can be overlooked.
American Cancer Society Director of Medical Content Ted Gansler, MD says, “"The existence of this serious form of cancer is not new, although a recent report* suggests incidence may be increasing. While the email and the news story it references imply that cancer groups are unaware of the disease or have not done enough to raise awareness of it, the Society's Cancer Information Database (CID) and web site have included information about IBC since those materials were first created in 1996. It is also important to note that the signs and symptoms of IBC (such as awareness of redness or other changes in the skin of the breasts) are included in breast cancer educational brochures created and distributed by the Society.
"Although emails like this one, while well-intended, do have the potential to create some overreaction, the medical information it contains about signs of IBC is accurate. It is important for women to protect themselves against all forms of breast cancer by following recommendations for early detection, including mammography and clinical breast examination, and by notifying their healthcare provider of any changes in their breast, including skin changes as well as breast lumps. And, we want women concerned about or diagnosed with IBC to know that there are a number of reliable sources of information about recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of this cancer, including documents developed by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute."
*"Trends in Inflammatory Breast Carcinoma Incidence and Survival: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program at the National Cancer Institute," JNCI, Vol. 97, No. 13, 966-975, July 6, 2005