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Inflammatory Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Early diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) greatly increases your chances for successful treatment.

Since symptoms of IBC often are similar to those of breast infection (mastitis), your doctor first may prescribe antibiotics. If the symptoms do not improve or grow worse, you should have diagnostic tests as soon as possible. These may include:

  • Mammogram and MRI mammography
  • Ultrasound of the breast and lymph nodes
  • Biopsy (removal of a small piece of tissue that is examined under a microscope) of any mass, enlarged lymph node and/or breast skin

In most cases of inflammatory breast cancer, a mammogram will not reveal a distinct lump but may show skin thickening or enlarged lymph nodes. If a biopsy confirms cancer cells are present, more imaging scans and possibly more biopsies may be needed to get an accurate picture of the disease.

If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • First – and largest – comprehensive inflammatory breast cancer program in the world
  • Innovative IBC treatment options include targeted therapies
  • Surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists who specialize in treating IBC
  • Personalized team approach to inflammatory breast cancer
  • Advanced diagnostic equipment
  • Active research program offers clinical trials

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Inflammatory breast cancer is treated in a special IBC Clinic at our Nellie B. Connally Breast Center.

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer Staging

Staging is a way of classifying cancer by how much disease is in the body and where it has spread when it is diagnosed. This helps the doctor plan the best way to treat the cancer. The stage of the cancer stays the same even if treatment works or the disease spreads.

IBC is considered Stage IIIB or IIIC upon diagnosis. If the cancer has spread to distant areas (metastasized) such the liver, lung or brain, it is a Stage IV cancer.

Getting a Second Opinion at MD Anderson

The experts at MD Anderson are highly specialized in diagnosing and staging inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). We welcome the opportunity to provide second opinions for IBC.

If you would like to get a second opinion at MD Anderson, call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center