Dr. Harness describes inflammatory breast cancer.
Dr. Harness, M.D.:
Inflammatory breast cancer is a locally advanced cancer where the breast appears to be swollen and red. The skin of the breast looks like an orange peel. In other words, it looks thickened, and you see these little dimpling in areas. That’s because the ligaments on the inside of the breast as the skin swells are pulling in. And typically it is inflamed or red, therefore inflammatory.
One of the classic mistakes made with inflammatory breast cancer is a doctor treating with antibiotics and not realizing that it’s really a cancer. Now, can you also have an infection of the breast that could look like inflammatory breast cancer? And the answer is yes.
So the history is really important here. As an example, was the patient recently breastfeeding? What other things are going on to help to differentiate between an infection of the breast and an inflammatory breast cancer?
About Dr. Harness, M.D.:
Dr. Jay Harness, M.D., is the Director at St. Joseph Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center. Practicing medicine for 35 years, Dr. Harness specializes in general surgery and medical oncology. Graduating medical school from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he conducting his internship and residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Recognized nationally and internationally for his work in breast and endocrine surgery, Dr. Harness is the immediate past-President of The American Society of Breast Surgeons and is President-elect of Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness can assist patients in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.