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The Silent Killer: Inflammatory Breast Cancer Pictures and Early Detection

I am a certified personal trainer. When I was in my 20s, I lost a close friend to breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Symptons

Breast Cancer Symptons

Breast Cancer Stages shown in diagram from I through IV

Breast Cancer Stages shown in diagram from I through IV

Inflammatory Breast Cancer diagram

Inflammatory Breast Cancer diagram

What Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

There is a very important video that every woman must see about a silent killer. The silent killer is a type of breast cancer that I just recently learned about called IBC, or inflammatory breast cancer. This is a type of cancer that develops without a telltale “lump.” IBC can best be described as "sheets of cancer." Some doctors call it "nests of cancer."

Men, if you are reading this, you must forward this to the women in your life. It may save their life or a friend's.

Please note: This video below shows photos of inflammatory breast cancer. It's not pretty, but it's critical information. So few people have heard of this type of cancer. This video aired in 2007, and yet when I shared it with my close friends, none of them had ever heard of it!

Common Symptoms

  • Rapid increase in breast size
  • Redness
  • Persistent itching
  • Skin hot to the touch
  • Thickening of breast tissue

Times Are Changing, Yet No "Cure" for Cancer

I lost a wonderful, wonderful friend and co-worker when I was in my early 20s to breast cancer. I know a great deal of medical progress has been made in the last 20 years, and I am thrilled that there have been so many advances in terms of medical research. If my friend had had breast cancer even ten years later, I know with certainty she would still be with us. Likewise, knowledge is power and we can educate our friends, our relatives, our daughters, and yes, our sons, too! We need to learn when to ask questions and how to ask questions. Perhaps then we can start to see a decrease in the death rate from this horrible disease.

I am thrilled to see increased efforts in terms of fundraising and raising awareness. It is not just about money for cancer research; it is also about taking the time to learn. Both men and women need to learn that the appearance of “bites” on the breast may be a sign to get to the doctor immediately. Ask specifically about IBC.

As I type this, two of my close friends are recovering from breast cancer surgery, and one is undergoing the final rounds of chemotherapy. This is a disease that affects all of us. We need knowledge in order to attack and conquer this horrific disease.

Don't Bet Against Me! Beating the Odds Against Breast Cancer and in Life

I just finished reading a great book that surprised me. Deanna Favre's book, "Don't Bet Against Me! Beating the Odds Against Breast Cancer and in Life." This book is a little bit about her journey, but it really is a guide on what to expect. The back of the book has references, including terminology. Deanna's purpose in this book is clearly to help a loved one through the darkness of this trauma. If you have a friend who is hurting, this would make a great companion to help them through this trauma.

Don't Bet against Me!: Beating the Odds Against Breast Cancer and in Life by Deanna Favre and Angela Elwell Hun

Inflammatory breast cancer diagram

Inflammatory breast cancer diagram

Knowledge Is Power: Share With Others

Knowledge is power. Sharing the ugly medical facts and the symptoms of IBC with your loved ones may be critical to saving lives. Please help to spread the correct knowledge.

This is important information not just for sharing woman to woman, but woman to man, and man to man. This is about all of us. If we can save one person by raising awareness, think of the joy of having that loved one remain in this world.

Share this story with friends and family. Share this story with your spouse. It is about preventing illness. We have the knowledge, we have the technology. Let's share the information, increase awareness, and prevent illness.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2009 Kelly A Burnett


Jak on January 24, 2015:

that information on the inerentt is very misleading, as these days IBC is NO different to any other type of cancer, usually as it means neo adjuvent chemo, then surgery (in almost all cases a mix). He told me not to read anything on the inerentt because it was old and outdated.”So keep the PMA going – a positive attitude is absolutely necessary – although days like today will creep inRemember you have a great team of experts looking after youLots of people are praying daily for you – including your Mum to St Jude and to St Agatha (Patron Saint of Breast Cancer patients)

Kelly A Burnett (author) from United States on December 10, 2012:


Thank you so much for sharing. The pain of cancer is only dwarfed in the emotional pain of seeing a loved one hurting. We must end this disease that robs of our loved ones.

Your story is critical - all of us can learn from this.

Recently we lost a loved one suddenly at work - she had lung cancer. So very sad, it seems cancer strikes the the brightest - in mind and spirit.

God bless you and your family. Your sister is now at peace, out of pain. She would want you to share to help comfort others. Thank you very much.

Andrea Tingey on November 21, 2012:

My dear sister had IBC. It first presented itself with a lump under the arm and swollen breast which was hot. She had had mammograms all her life so was very aware always. She had more tests & the cancer was like nests all through the breast & she was told there was to be no operation. She had chemotherapy & pills for 2 1/2 months with severe side effects which made her very ill & had no quality of life. The oncologist said she would have to be on medication for the rest of her life i.e. chemo & pills. My sister was always very energetic & could not stand feeling so sick so chose to stop the treatment. The arm filled up again with lymphatic fluid and all the tumours in the breast came back up to the neck and all around the ribs. The lymph fluid could not be drained but burst out of her hand and breast. She was in severe pain in the arm & exhausted & used to sleep 15 hours per day. She was bedridden & given morphine for the pain. After a few months she passed on. Her cancer was aggressive Her 2 IBC with no hope. She was almost 71 years & it was very cruel to see her suffer. I will miss her dearly. She had the blood pressure of a 16 year old and a strong heart but cancer took over.

daniel steve from India on January 03, 2011:

Was a good article. Going to follow you articles

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on December 20, 2010:

Stacie L,

Sadly, money rules - it is the ultimate in the ruling class - you are correct.

Stacie L on December 20, 2010:

Good appears that all cancers have a connection to inflammation.

I don't think "they" want to cure cancer since chemo brings in the money..

incastreasures from lima, peru on June 19, 2010:

Well written Hub, I read that Every minute a woman die due Breast Cancer in the world. Hubs like yours helps a lot in the prevention, I'm your number 1 fan from Peru.

I also write some useful articles about breast cancer, that include statistics, lumpectomy and recovery process, please take a look at

KellyEngaldo on December 29, 2009:


You are most welcome. I had no idea and I felt silly reporting on an item that was 2-3 years old but I figured IF I didn't know perhaps there were others who also needed to know. Thank you for dropping in.

Paula Kirchner from Austin. Texas on December 29, 2009:

Thanks for educating us on this awful cancer!