Inflammatory Breast Cancer and the Likelihood of Late Detection
Jeffrey H. Dover
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that over 200,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. The most prevalent form of breast cancer is infiltrating ductal carcinoma, which currently accounts for approximately 78 percent of all cancers of the breast. That type, along with other breast cancers like medullary carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ, are the ones which generally get the most exposure. There are several other forms of breast cancer, however, including one known as inflammatory breast cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer is rare, as it only accounts for between one and five percent of breast cancers. The disease is very aggressive, and it blocks the lymph vessels in one’s skin, consequently making the breast look swollen and red.
Inflammatory breast cancer can be more difficult to diagnose than some other types of breast cancers due to the fact that it does not create any lumps or masses. This means that mammograms, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Ultrasounds typically won’t be able to detect the cancer. Instead, diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer is based solely on biopsy results and the doctor’s clinical judgment, which can lead to detection errors.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the 5-year survival rate for inflammatory breast cancer is just 40 percent. Among the top causes for such a low survival rate is late detection, due mostly to the disease’s rare nature and how easily it can be misdiagnosed as rashes or infections. One common error in treatment for inflammatory breast cancer is the removal of the affected breast too quickly. This can increase the chance of the cancer’s recurrence in the localized area.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer in Georgia and feel that it was originally misdiagnosed or that you received bad medical treatment, please request a copy of our free book, I Have Cancer…Should It Have Been Caught Earlier?, or contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice and breast cancer lawyer at the Dover Law Firm at 770-518-1133 to schedule a confidential, free consultation.