Healthy Living

Nov 17, 2009 7:32 PM by Monica Quintero

What you need to know about a rare form of breast cancer

When it comes to breast cancer women have heard it before-- look for lumps, have a mammogram, see your doctor. But the problem is it's difficult to detect "Inflammatory Breast Cancer." It's also known as IBC. That's why some call it the "silent killer." It's a topic a local woman believes is critical to share with others. Geraldine Wade is an IBC survivor. She said, "Everybody else gets diagnosed with cancer but you don't think it's every going to happen to you."

Wade has been cancer free for about a year and a half. Wade said, "I'd never heard of it before. I was probably like all the millions of other people. I thought there was only one type of breast cancer. I thought when you had breast cancer, everybody had the same." What concerns doctors is that IBC is a very aggressive form of cancer. Wade said, "My symptoms were that I started getting a little bit of what they call orange peel and redness underneath my breast. I thought it was a rash like a heat rash. Not long after that my whole breast swelled up so I knew it had to be something pretty serious."

Dr. Monica Rocco is the Marian Cancer Center Surgical Director in Santa Maria. She specializes in breast cancer. Dr. Rocco said, "Patients can often think they have an infection and will go to their primary doctors and be thought to initially have an infection and treated with antibiotics. This can be very bad because it can delay the diagnosis." There is the other side of this topic. Dr. Rocco said the good news is that IBC is a rare form of cancer. She said out of the 150 cases of cancer she sees a year, typically only two of those are Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

KSBY's Monica Quintero we'll have a special report on IBC tonight on KSBY News at 6:30.


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