Inflammatory breast cancer treatment can vary based on a number of factors, including the extent of the cancer, its biological makeup and whether it is hormone-receptor positive, among other things. Because it is an aggressive form of cancer that usually progresses rapidly, inflammatory breast cancer is often detected at an advanced stage. However, after confirming a diagnosis, a physician will work closely with a patient to develop a highly individualized treatment plan.
Some options for the treatment of inflammatory breast cancer include:
- Chemotherapy – The goal of chemotherapy is to destroy some of the cancer cells prior to surgery.
- Surgery – Because inflammatory breast cancer does not usually form a distinctive lump or mass, surgery that is designed to remove only the cancerous tissue, such as a lumpectomy, is generally not possible. In order to remove all or most of the cancer, a total mastectomy, or the surgical removal of the entire breast and possibly the nearby lymph nodes, may be required.
- Radiation – Following chemotherapy and surgery, radiation therapy might be performed on the chest wall and lymph nodes to reduce the risk of recurrence. Additionally, radiation is sometimes recommended to treat inflammatory breast cancer that has spread or to manage pain if surgery is not an option.
- Hormone therapy – If the cancer is hormone-receptor positive, oral medicines can be prescribed to inhibit the body from producing or activating estrogen and progesterone, which can stop the cancer cells from sending the signals that make them divide and grow.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our patients have access to an outstanding team of breast cancer specialists, who provide all aspects of cancer care and support, including the latest advances in treatment options, in one convenient location. Referrals are never necessary, and each patient receives the benefit of multiple expert opinions, which are discussed in detail during a weekly tumor board review and incorporated into a customized treatment plan. We are also proud to offer robust clinic trials for new treatments of inflammatory breast cancer.