What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - When Jennifer Cordts noticed a red rash on her breast she wasn't sure what it was.

Cordts, 46, decided to get a mammogram just in case -- and the results came back normal. She didn't have a lump or tumor. But, she couldn't shake the feeling something was wrong. 

After some more testing, Cordts discovered she had Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), an uncommon and rapid form of the disease. Doctors could not stop the cancer. Instead, the medical team has worked to slow the spread of the cancer in her body. 

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According to the National Cancer Institute: "Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and very aggressive disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. This type of breast cancer is called “inflammatory” because the breast often looks swollen and red, or inflamed."

The disease is rare. It shows up only 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancers in the United States. 

Cordts spends everyday making loving memories with her husband and two daughters. She tells her story, so others may pay attention to their bodies before it's too late. 

KNOW the IBC symptoms: 

-Swelling and redness that affect 1/3 or more of the breast
-Rapid increase in breast size
-Discoloration of the skin on the breast 
-No lump or tumor can be felt on the breast 

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Standard mammograms do not always catch IBC. Instead, more extensive ultrasound and scans are used. Special attention should be paid to the lymph nodes near the breasts. 

RELATED: Sports anchor Kristen Berset shares the story of her breast cancer battle

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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