Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. This cancer, which accounts for 1% to 5% of all breast cancer diagnoses in the United States, forms in the cells that line the breasts’ milk ducts, but quickly spreads to nearby lymph nodes and sometimes, to other tissues in the body. The cancer is called “inflammatory” because the cancer cells usually block the lymph vessels in the breast. This blockage causes a buildup of fluid, which then leads to inflammation that is usually red and tender to the touch.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells in the breast. It is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States.
- Age: Most breast cancers develop in adults over the age of 50
- Family history: The chance of developing breast cancer increases when immediate family members have had the disease
- Personal history: Women who had cancer in one breast have an increased risk of developing cancer in another area of that same breast or in the other breast
- Reproductive history: Women who began menstruating before 12, who experienced menopause after 55, who were pregnant for the first time after age 30 or never had children can increase risk
- Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol can slightly increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer
- Weight: Being overweight is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer