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Breast Cancer - Medical Malpractice
Inflammatory breast cancer is fortunately fairly rare. It is a type of breast cancer that differs from regular breast cancer because it has no distinct lump. The breast shows other symptoms that don't look like breast cancer at all. It is called inflammatory breast cancer because the breast is red and inflamed. It looks like an infection or injury to the breast but is actually a problem occurring because breast cancer cells infiltrate the lymph tissue just between the skin. The lymph channels become blocked with cancer cells, thickening the skin and causing dimpling of the skin. The diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer or IBC is sometimes delayed because of its unusual appearance.
Inflammatory breast cancer is different from regular breast cancer. It is more aggressive and doesn't involve lumps in the breast. It is more common in young women and in African American women. The aggressive nature of the disease means that it is usually metastatic at the time of first diagnosis. This means the rate of death in inflammatory breast cancer is higher than with other forms of breast cancer.
The main signs of inflammatory breast cancer include swelling diffusely of the breast, breast itching, redness or pink colour of the breast, nipple retraction, dimpling of the skin so that it has the texture like an orange, warmth of the breast and breast pain. These are symptoms that are so similar to mastitis that it is hard to tell the difference. The lymph glands are swollen under the armpits and sometimes in the area of the clavicles.
During a breast exam, a lump is not often felt so the diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer is difficult. A mammogram may not show evidence of breast cancer. The thickening of the breast may show up on mammogram, however. The best way to diagnose inflammatory bowel cancer is through a careful biopsy of the inflamed area of the breast. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can come on very quickly so rapid medical response is necessary to prevent metastases. In women who are breastfeeding, inflammatory breast cancer can show up and can mimic a breast infection like mastitis. This is especially dangerous because the diagnosis is often extremely delayed.
In order to detect inflammatory breast cancer, you should still have annual breast mammograms and a mammogram if you have any symptoms of IBC. If you are in your 20s or 30s, you need to have clinical breast exams every three years and with any changes in the breast. Breast self exam is optional when you are young. Women who are at high risk for breast cancer should consider having MRI exams along with a mammogram each year. This is if your risk is higher than 20 percent over your lifetime. The first test should always be the mammogram. An ultrasound can show areas appropriate for biopsy and will detect any lumps noted. An MRI, however, is the most sensitive imaging test for inflammatory bowel cancer. Some doctors perform a PET scan that can find "hot spots" of increased metabolic activity in the breast cancer and in the lymph nodes.
The biopsy of inflammatory breast cancer is the most important test. It can be done of the inflamed area of the breast and the lymph nodes which are likely involved. It can be done under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia, depending on the extent of the biopsy. A large core biopsy can be done which can show the depth of the cancer and the extent of the cancer. A needle biopsy can also be done with ultrasound guidance.
The five year survival rate isn't as good for inflammatory breast cancer as it is for other forms of breast cancer. The five year survival rate is the percentage of people alive with the disease after five years. The five year survival rate for IBC is about 40 percent, which is in comparison to 87 percent with regular types of breast cancer. The more metastatic the disease is at the time of diagnosis, the more likely you are to die from the disease.
The treatment of inflammatory breast cancer involves chemotherapy as a first option. Chemotherapy involves several different combinations of chemotherapeutic agents and your doctor will decide which is best for you. Radiation is also used for inflammatory breast cancer. After chemotherapy, the breast is removed in its entirety, along with lymph nodes in the clavicular and armpit area. Targeted drug therapy with medications like Herceptin is used for cancers that are HER-2 positive. This is a cancer marker that is hereditary in some women.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125