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A Rare Type of Breast Cancer

Published: April 17, 2009

Dear Dr. SerVaas,
Why don’t more mammogram technicians know about inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)? I am aware of three cases in my area. However, I recently had a mammogram at a large hospital, and the technician had never heard of it. IBC does not show on a mammogram.


“Medical Mailbox” readers can help raise awareness about inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) by informing others, including mammography technicians, about this relatively rare but aggressive cancer. In women with this condition, cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, which often appears red and swollen. Diagnosis is based primarily on the results of a doctor’s examination.
The bottom line: Get evaluated by a medical provider if you note any changes in your breast. Treatments for this type of cancer are improving, as are survival rates.

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