Thursday, August 14, 2008

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

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WhyMommy is the contributing editor for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). She writes at Toddler Planet and heads up Team WhyMommy which has spread the word about IBC. She also blogs at DC Metro Moms Blog, Women in Planetary Science Blog, and, her latest project, Mothers With Cancer.


Caba said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. My sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer last month. Luckily they found it early, and she is about to go through a lumpectomy. It's a disease that touches so many women.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My breast cancer was not IBS so all I can do is wish you the best of luck!

luna said...

thank you so much for sharing such critical information about this deadly disease here!

Mare said...

Thank you so very much for sharing your story about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. My daughter Karen was diagnosed with IBC in July 1997and continues to do remarkably well after 11 years; hoping with all my heart you will have the same results! KNowing the symptoms of this insidious disease will save lives!
Marilyn 'Mare' Kirschenbaum
Vice President
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation