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What is the "typical" life expectancy from Stages III and IV of IBC?

By Anonymous May 20, 2009 - 9:20am
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My ex-mother-in-law was just diagnosed with IBC. She has ignored it for 2 years and it is now a raised rash with a scabby area about 1-2 inches in diameter.

I have two daughters and am also concerned for their wellfare. My oldest daughter had a lump removed at 18 and it was atypical ductal hyperplasia. She had 4 new lumps at 24 and had a double simple mastectomy with reconstructive surgery (last month). My youngest daughter has had no problems.

I would like to know what the "Typical" life expectancy is from Stages III or IV of IBC. I understand that there are treatments and possible cures.

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Anon, welcome to EmpowHer. First, let me congratulate you on helping your daughters be as informed and as assertive as they need to be to protect their health. It's very tough that they have to deal with such things at their young ages, but with a mom like you, they are way ahead fo the game.

I'm so sorry, however, to hear about the situation with your former mother-in-law's health. Yes, inflammatory breast cancer is treatable but is quite aggressive.

When was she diagnosed? Was it through a biopsy and/or ultrasound? Was it stage 3 when diagnosed but you are concerned that it's stage 4 now?

Has she had any treatment whatsoever?

Here is what the National Cancer Institute says about the prognosis for IBC:

"Prognosis describes the likely course and outcome of a disease—that is, the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence. IBC is more likely to have metastasized (spread to other areas of the body) at the time of diagnosis than non-IBC cases (3). As a result, the 5-year survival rate for patients with IBC is between 25 and 50 percent, which is significantly lower than the survival rate for patients with non-IBC breast cancer. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. Statistics cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient because each person's situation is unique. Patients are encouraged to talk to their doctors about their prognosis given their particular situation."

Here's that page:


Since it sounds as though your former MIL has had no treatment at all and has had the cancer for two years, her situation may be quite serious. Is she open to treatment now?

May 20, 2009 - 10:25am
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