Monday, November 16, 2009

What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

This post was previously published at an old blog Confessions of a Jersey Goddess, which is now offline, in March 2007.

My friend and fellow poet Regis Auffray sent this women's health-related video to me via email. It's a special report from KOMO-TV in Seattle Washington and deals with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare, agressive form of breast cancer. Like the women interviewed and remembered in the video, I didn't know anything about this other form of breast cancer that is not detectable through self-examination and may also be missed by mammograms.

Here's an excerpt from KOMO's written transcript of the story.
SEATTLE - Breast cancer is something women think they know all about: Look for lumps; have mammograms; see our doctors.

But none of that will save you from one silent breast cancer killer that women know virtually nothing about.

It's called "inflammatory breast cancer," and it's something every woman must know about.

Nancy Key didn't know.

"I was furious and at the same time, terrified that I was going to die, 'cause I didn't know," she said.

What Marilyn Willingham didn't know, killed her.

"She smiled and took a breath and went to sleep," says Phil Willingham, Marilyn's husband. (Click this link for full print story.)
According to the special report, doctors don't seem to immediately recognize a case of inflammatory breast cancer because most haven't been exposed to a case since medical school. One doctor, upon seeing the first symptoms in a patient, told her he thought she'd been bitten by bugs.

Update: Today, March 6, I cross-posted a similar blog about this cancer at BlogHer.org, and in that post I included information from the National Cancer Institute that states this cancer occurs more frequently in young African-American women.

Here is the video. I replaced it with the YouTube code. You may also view the video at this link.



Click this next link for-->information about inflammatory breast cancer at
the National Cancer Institute.


Also helpful, Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic at
MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Thank you, Mare, for sending me this link, and thank you, Patti for sharing this blog post with Mare. :-)

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