"Contrary to common belief, breast cancer is not just one disease; it’s an umbrella of many different cancers, some of which may differ considerably. The American Cancer Society lists at least nine different types of breast cancer and several subtypes.
Another common misperception is that all breast cancers have lumps. But inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare but aggressive form of the disease, is seldom detected by a lump. Rather, it changes the appearance of the breast. IBC strikes women younger than the typical age of incidence. It also occurs more frequently in black women, according to the National Cancer Institute, and those who are obese.
Dr. Beth Overmoyer, the director of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is no stranger to IBC. “It’s known by its very rapid onset,” she explained. “Usually three to six months.” Or even overnight. The breast becomes warm, tender, enlarged and red, and the skin of the breast thickens, resembling the skin of an orange, she added. Many women initially ignore the symptoms of IBC, attributing the changes to a mosquito bite, a bruise or a transient infection"