Inflammatory Breast Cancer Screening

Inflammatory breast cancer screening techniques are currently under study. To date, no standard screening tests have been found to improve inflammatory breast cancer outcomes. However, when detected at an early stage, the condition may be eligible for a wider range of treatments. While relatively rare, inflammatory breast cancer can progress rapidly if left untreated. All of this underscores the importance of early detection and treatment.

The best way to detect inflammatory breast cancer early is for a woman to become familiar with how her breasts look and feel so that she will notice any changes right away. Most women are aware that a breast lump can be a sign of breast cancer. However, unlike many other types of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer does not usually manifest as a distinct lump or mass. Therefore, during a monthly self-exam, a woman should be vigilant for signs of breast inflammation as well as lumps, and report any of these signs to a physician for prompt follow up. Specifically, a woman should consult with a physician if she discovers that one or both breasts are red, warm or unusually tender, or if the skin on one or both breasts thickens or dimples (taking on an appearance similar to that of an orange peel).

While there are no reliable methods of screening for inflammatory breast cancer, some tests can be helpful, including:

  • Clinical breast exam – A physician performs a visual and manual examination to evaluate the condition of the breasts.
  • Conventional mammography and full-breast tomosynthesis – A mammogram may reveal thickened breast skin or breast asymmetry with regard to size or density.
  • Breast MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging produces in-depth images that can be analyzed for breast tissue abnormalities.
  • Automated breast ultrasound system (ABUS) – Ultrasound may reveal blocked or swollen lymph vessels in the breast skin or surrounding areas.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we are proud to offer the latest breast cancer screening techniques at all three of our locations. A woman who has symptoms or suspects breast cancer can turn with confidence to our multispecialty group of experts, who are available to provide comprehensive care and support at every point of her journey.

To learn more about inflammatory breast cancer screening at Moffitt, please call 1-888-MOFFITT or schedule an appointment online. No referrals are needed to consult with the cancer experts at Moffitt.