Inflammatory breast cancer

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.


P.S. Feel free to steal this post too.  I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked.  Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care.  But I want the word to get out.  I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis?  Is it a rash?  Am I overreacting?  This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.

Thank you.


200 Responses to Inflammatory breast cancer

  1. binkytown says:

    Thank you once again for sharing this. I had a mean case of mastitis after my firstborn and if I had symptoms that you have described here with another child I would have easily attributed them to that, never knowing it could be IBC. I wish it didn’t come at such a cost but Im so much more informed now because of you.

  2. Chris says:

    I’ll repost this. Thank you so much for letting people know. Hang in there darlin, you’ll beat this!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’ll repost this, too. So many of us on the blogosphere are breastfeeding moms, just like you, who might think they just have mastitis. It’s important to get the word out.

  4. Kristen says:

    If I’d had those symptoms I would have thought for sure mastitis…and knowing me I would have blown off going to the doctor. It’s really great that you’re sharing this information as most people I’m sure don’t know about this.

    Keep up the spirit and I’ll be including you in my daily prayers.

  5. Leann I Am says:

    This is AWESOME! I’m going to snag it from you and repost it on ALL of my blogs. This is something EVERY woman should know.

  6. You are doing such a great service here. What a generous person you are.

  7. PunditMom says:

    You are being an amazing advocate. Thanks for
    getting our heads out of the sand when it comes
    to this one.

  8. practiceliving says:

    Thank you for this post and getting the word out. Reposted at my blog.

  9. Trisha says:

    Thank you so much for your efforts to spread the word, even while fighting with all you have to get rid of this evil intruder. I have spread this to my mothers group. I know you are saving lives with your words.

  10. ~JJ! says:

    I’m posting this on my site…I know you won’t mind.
    Thank you for this…Something we should all know.

    You are so amazing. Worrying about us when you should be focusing on you!!!

  11. Daisy says:

    Reposting too.

    Keep on going girl!

  12. BOSSY says:

    So glad Bossy ambled over here today for the post entitled, “Things That Will Keep Bossy Awake Tonight.”

    But seriously, thanks for the info.

  13. Amy says:

    This is important. I had NO IDEA about any of this. Thank you.

  14. whymommy says:

    If I keep BOSSY awake tonight? I will have succeeded in starting to get the word out.

    (Sorry, Bossy. How bout a nice glass of warm milk? And a cookie? Or a brownie. Brownies are our stock-in-trade now over here at Toddler Planet.)

  15. motherofbun says:

    I plan to post this on my blog later this week. K? THANK YOU SO MUCH for this info. I sent out an e-mail to a bunch of my friends and family and a link to this post.

  16. whymommy says:

    You are all awesome. This is an incredible start!

    Now … who else is reposting? I’ll do a roundup at the end of the week to celebrate teamwork!

  17. Amanda says:

    I have not been good about checking myself, not good at all. You’ve changed me. Thank you, I won’t let you down. I will spread the word, and I will remember. Always.

  18. Damselfly says:

    I have *never* ever heard this before. Thank you so much. I had mastitis once too. Not fun at all. I wish you didn’t have to have this cancer in order to warn people about it.

  19. Angela says:

    Thanks WhyMommy. I’ve linked to this post and included a bit of it. I have several women who read my blog from work and my family. Hopefully this will help in a little way to get the word out. I’m certainly keeping a closer look at my own “girls” after hearing about your dx.

  20. christine says:

    this is great information to have, thanks, love.

  21. mod*mom says:

    you poor sweet mommy! that’s aweful that this is happening to you + i will pray for you + send you positive healing energy. i was diagnosed last year + had a bad prognosis with her2neu amplified stage 3B breast cancer, but i had a great response to chemo, so there’s hope + i’ll be checking on you + wishing you the best + linking your posts 🙂

  22. Lauren says:

    I too posted a link back to your post. I hope you are feeling better and getting more energy back.

  23. […] 24th, 2007 (The following was written by WhyMommy of Toddler Planet. The original post can be found at her site. Please head over there to comment and cheer her on as she courageously […]

  24. Lil Liberal says:

    I posted this in the woman’s locker room at my gym next to a poster on how to check for lumps.

  25. Breana says:

    I’ll post a link back to you, and know that a stranger’s (but fellow DCUM!)thoughts and prayers are with you. Happy, healing thoughts for you and your family!


  26. lulu says:

    Great post! I’ve never heard of it. I’ve just been through my own breast cancer diagnosis that could have only been detected with a mammogram. So, please, get your mammograms too!

  27. mcewen says:

    Likewise, neither have I. Thank you.
    Best wishes

  28. […] Comments mcewen on Inflammatory breast cancerAimee on Cancer progressingByJane on 5 pounds of makeup?Arkie Mama on […]

  29. NoMommy says:

    I have posted this on my site. Thank you for letting us help get the word out.

    Stay strong.

  30. Kristen says:

    I have reposted this at my site as well. It serves two great purposes as I am too tired to post anything of my own, and this will actually help people, so thank you! Hope you are feeling better…

  31. […] have been asked to post this. It’s something every woman should know. Take care of yourself. Your life belongs not just to […]

  32. I’m a team WhyMommy playa. I’ll help kick cancers ass any way til Sunday.

  33. […] Inflammatory breast cancer […]

  34. […] Comments Aliki on Learning to FlyToddler Planet on Inflammatory breast cancerJennie on Statustwithhoney on StatusJennifer on StatusKim on Statuspracticeliving on Statusella on […]

  35. Woman Lost says:

    Reposting on my blog!! You are a courageous Mommy!

  36. Jen says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I have posted this on my mommies group site.

    Wishing you well!

  37. Kerry says:

    I reposted this, too, and I’m sending you healing vibes.

  38. Reposted (and I don’t know the first thing about html, so I’m just going to post the link, sorry!!)

    Thank you for sharing this. I really had no idea!!!

    Thinking of you…

    post link:

  39. SarahK says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I had mastisis once and it scares me how similar the symptoms are. I’ve reposted on my blog!

  40. Lisa says:

    Reposting on my blog. Great information. Didn’t know all of those things……frightening.

  41. Heather says:

    As a breastfeeding instructor, this information is invaluable to have out there.

    Sending you good vibes and healing thoughts.

  42. BetteJo says:

    Y’know I was a little worried when you didn’t post for so long. Now I see I had reason to be. Sounds like you are being strong and from your other posts – you have a great family behind you. I’m sure you’ve begun the fight – please lean on all of us when you need to – and I will say a prayer for you.
    Hang in!

  43. Rose100 says:

    Health and strength to you.


  44. i just added your button to my sidebar w/ a link to this post. thanks for getting the information out there.
    healing vibes to you!

  45. Sarah says:

    I’ve also posted your post on my blog.

    Warm wishes to you and your family.


  46. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!! I have heard about this a few times on the news in the last year – it is sooo terrible how so rarely it is talked about.

    I am sooooo sorry to hear you are having to go through this. I will be thinking and praying for you tons!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Hatchet says:

    I have copied this post to my site as well.

    As someone said above, Health and Strength to you!

  48. […] just received an email from a young mom who found out a few weeks ago that she has inflammatory breast cancer. (I posted about her on 5 Minutes for Mom, but you can head over to her site to read more about […]

  49. […] weeks ago, WhyMommy from Toddler Planet was told she has Inflammatory Breast Cancer. And instead of curling up and weeping silently to herself, she is getting the word out so that […]

  50. Kelley says:

    Thank you so much for thinking of others while you are dealing with IBC. I’ve added you to my prayer list and will lift you and your family up in prayer.

  51. […] to a post from a woman with 2 small children who just found out she has inflammatory breast cancer. Read her post for more. It’s very enlightening and something I hope you all take to heart and keep in the […]

  52. docfrick says:

    Thank you for turning your focus in such a stressful time to helping others. I posted this to my homeschool support group’s news group of 165 families today. I have added you to my prayer list as well.

  53. summershine says:

    Wow, thank you for spreading the word. Please keep us updated on your treatment. I pray all will be well for you.

  54. […] is encouraging everyone and anyone to steal this post, to spread the word about inflammatory breast cancer – which she is currently […]

  55. Rani says:

    I “stole” this very important information from you and reposted it on my blog. I hope we can reach someone. This will be my second post on IBC. I am a cancer survivor myself. I finished my chemo in Dec. of 2006 for Hodgkins lymphoma. I am now pregnant with our third miracle child. Stay positive. There are great plans for you. Thanks for your important message.

  56. Surviving says:

    I’ve never heard about this before. I will put a post, linking to you right now. This is definately something everyone should know about! Thank you!!! I wish there was more I could do for you and your family.

  57. Race Mom says:

    I had never heard of IBC until my best friend sent me a news video about it. You can see it on my blog. Thanks for shedding more light on this and my prayers are with you.

  58. […] am reflecting on what I have learned from littleHannah and also from WhyMommy and her struggle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Filed under Christianity, Mom Blogs, Blogging by […]

  59. Louise says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. From half way across the world (New Zealand) it means a lot to be reminded that we are all women, with the same feelings and trials. There is a great article on about another mums experience with breast cancer .. and how she got thru… heres the whole link to save u searching… ..
    Stay strong

  60. whymommy says:

    Wow, great stories and great links! Thank you! And more are coming in all the time! Hurrah! We’re starting to get the word out!

  61. Diana says:

    I will post this on my blog today! Thank you for sharing your story…I’m sure it will help many. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I used to work with cancer patients…check to see if there is a cancer support center in your community. Usually they offer free counseling and support groups for cancer survivors and their families.

  62. […] on Because I’m not ready to move onmcewen on Saturday nightLouise on Inflammatory breast cancerFertile Mertile » They’re your breasts on Because I’m not ready to […]

  63. […] free to read Toddler Planet’s blog to learn more.  It’s made me think to not take things for granted about my health.  […]

  64. Heather P says:

    I found you thru another blog (can’t remember which one right now-sorry!) I have had several symptoms you mentioned, and was told it was mastitis. I’m not having any now, so I wonder if I should go back and be checked anyway. My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago…..sure makes you think twice about your own health and future. I’ll be praying for you. BTW, what is the treatment??

  65. […] cancer announce themselves with a lump.  At the request of WhyMommy I am posting her message about Inflammatory Breast Cancer here.  She wants the message to spread as fast as the cancer does in the hopes of saving […]

  66. Mama Luxe says:

    I put a link and a button on one blog and I’ll get your post on the other soon.

    Thank you for sharing this to help others. I don’t know what to say except that I am thinking of you and that I am so impressed with your strength!

  67. […] are the words of Whymommy at Toddler Planet: We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be […]

  68. Hi Whymommy,

    I just found you in post at the Light Iris blog. I hope you’re enjoying the Blogher convention.

    Last year, I had an IBC scare. I had symptoms, butI was lucky, it turned out to be just a rash.

    Anyway, as soon as I got the news that I was okay, I knew I had to educate other women about this disease, so I wrote about it on my blog and created the Busy Moms Breast Cancer Awareness Pack.

    You can get the pack here:

    Feel free to pass it around.

  69. cerbonan says:

    this is good,i will post this on my blog and link to yours, in Indonesia it’s the 2nd killer among women. hope this will increase awareness in my country.

  70. Dana says:

    great mom is breast cancer survivor! thank you for the info!

  71. […] Jul 31st, 2007 by cerbonan Siang tadi nonton Oprah Show di Hallmark yang lagi ngebahas perjuangan sheryl crow dengan kanker payudaranya. Untungnya dia tidak harus menjalani kemoterapi, hanya lumpectomy dan beberapa kali radiasi, karena terdeteksi pada stadium awal. setelah jalan jalan dan korek – korek di gugle ketemu ini , […]

  72. […] 30th, 2007 This is what my mom is suffering from: inflammatory breast cancer. Posted in Uncategorized […]

  73. undonelady says:

    My mom is fighting inflammatory breast cancer and it is not going well. I will pray for you.

  74. Jamie Dawn says:

    I came to this post through a fellow blogger.
    Thank You so much for making us aware of this “rare” type of breast cancer. I wish you a full recovery as you face this disease.
    God be with you.

  75. Andamom says:

    I found your post on — and wanted to thank you again for the post. I’m sorry that it took a post of this type for me to respond here — and I do hope to come back again.

    Sending you my best wishes!

  76. […] Inflammatory Breast Cancer. As I understand it, she’s in her 30s and has two young boys.  WhyMommy wrote a post that I think would be very useful information for many of you — here it […]

  77. Brandie says:

    I shared your post over at The MotherHood – hopefully this will also help spread the word.

    (You can look here to see it)

  78. […] Jul 30th, 2007 by Gwen This was originally posted by Whymommy. […]

  79. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for your post and letting us all know the symptoms! I am sending you all best wishes to beat this disease.

    BTW, Brandie posted a link to your post on the Motherhood ( If people come and comment on the link, and click on the “Like it” button, your post will rise to the top of the Link List and more people will see it.

    Here’s the link for her post:

  80. Tasra Dawson says:

    Putting up a post about it right now. Just watched a video about it that was sent to me by a friend. The word is spreading. At times like these, I’m thankful for technology. God bless you for sharing your story!

  81. […] 31st, 2007 by Owlhaven Don’t miss this post over at Toddler Planet. And tell your friends about it […]

  82. I am posting the link to this at my site! Thank you so much for talking about this. I had no idea!

    I am so sorry you are experiencing this ((hugs))

  83. Vanda says:

    Keeping you in my thoughts.

    I have posted a link to your blog. Thank you so much being so brave, to be able to tell the world about this type of hidden breast cancer.

  84. Tanya says:

    Found your blog through another blog. I have this intense deep burning/itching that is absolutely driving me nuts in my left breast. I can only describe it like “mexican jumping beans” in there doing the Moraca Dance … Been there for almost a year … it also feels like it has tracks (as silly as that sounds) I’be repeated been to Doctor’s and had repeat mammo’s … will be calling again for a IBC consult. Take Care and I wish you the very very best.

    Tanya (The Dairy Wife)

  85. […] had asked that this post explaining IBC be spread around. So I’m posting it here for you to read and pass along. […]

  86. […] Crankypants Strikes Again! Write About Here awarded Frog and Toad are Still Friends Fenicle awarded Toddler Planet The Dust Will Wait awarded Rabbit Run Cottage Petroville awarded This Full […]

  87. Rebecca says:

    I don’t know you but am praying for you and your family. I posted today copying the information you wrote about inflammatory breast cancer. Thank you for spreading the word and sharing your experience.

  88. Qtpies7 says:

    Thank you for posting your story. I’m going through some fear right now, having read this several times recently and my right breast just started hurting horribly yesterday. I keep thinking its mastitis, but the good thing is that it is just pain right now, no swelling or change in skin and no fever or redness.
    I will make an appointment tomorrow if the pain is not going away.

  89. […] by serinat Did you know that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer? Read this post and be aware of one of the most aggressive (and hard to diagnose) forms of breast […]

  90. […] the copying and pasting of my post on inflammatory breast cancer.  In the last two days, I’ve seen 40 links — and a Perfect Post award, from Fenicle.  […]

  91. Star says:

    Hey there, I’m coming here from Boomama’s place. I’m so sorry to hear your diagnosis. I’m big into holistic and natural healing and have heard amazing things about shark cartilage. Something about sharks are don’t have the mechanisms to get cancer and this product can reverse the effects.. I don’t know, worth a try. I think you can only get it at the health food store.

  92. shauna says:

    I think of you daily and have posted this on my site and asked readers to visit yours to offer their love and support. My thoughts are prayers are with you.

  93. Anna Hodges says:

    I have been introducing myself to bloggers taking Nell’s 30-day challenge, and I came to your site today. I want you to know that though I don’t know you personally, my heart aches for you. One of my little sisters went through the mastitis breast cancer. The chemo and radiation were very hard on her. I will post your above post about inflammatory breast cancer on my site so others can be informed also. I did not know about this myself. I pray for your recovery in Jesus name. God bless you and thank you for getting the word out.
    Sister in Christ,

  94. MetaMommy says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. I’ve posted your post on my blog.
    All our love and strength to you and your family.

  95. […] (who hearts me and is therefore twice as awesome as I already thought she was) who got it from Toddler Planet and really, the more, the merrier, because this is some scary-ass shit.  Read […]

  96. […] the spirit of pragmatic and unsentimental memorials, please visit WhyMommy’s post on IBC.  If you are a mother, read it for your kids.  If you are not, read it for yourself.   If all […]

  97. whymommy says:

    Tanya, QTpies, will you check back here and let us know what the doctor’s exam showed? I am SO PROUD of you for going to be checked out.

  98. […] just read a blog over at Toddler Planet.  WhyMommy is a lovely lady with two adorable young children. She was just recently was diagnosed […]

  99. dana says:

    I posted this today. And I made an appointment to get my own breasts examined. I frequently have persistent itching on my breast and I never knew why, nor thought to go see a doctor. I figure I should go now before it’s too late, right?

  100. […] is a post originally written by WhyMommy here.  I’m reposting it so that every woman learns more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  IBC is […]

  101. […] 100 of you have posted the inflammatory breast cancer post, bringing the total to 224 so far.  Many are family blogs, some are hobby blogs, a few even are […]

  102. […] really want to share her story with you and I want you all to go over and say hello.  She is having a rough time with her treatment […]

  103. Kristy says:

    I got here from LesbianDad, just wanted to say thank you for having the strength to share your story. I’ve posted it, too (with links). Prayers are with you.

  104. Sueb0b says:

    I posted it over at Linkateria

  105. liz says:

    APL sent me. I’m thinking of you.

  106. […] was cruising around the blogosphere this morning and came across this post about Inflammatory Breast Cancer, something I’d never even heard of. Since IBC can manifest […]

  107. deborah says:

    Thank you, WhyMommy, for your courage in the midst of difficulty. Like many others, I have posted this on my blog, Choose Life!. My prayers are with you.

  108. Paige says:

    Thank you for this valuable information. I will be praying for you and your family.

  109. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for the informative post. I have never heard of this form of cancer. My thoughts and prayers will be with you…

  110. Leigh says:

    I would like to post this on my blog. I’m thinking of you and hope that I can help spread your message. I would like to be another brick in the Team WhyMommy wall

  111. […] now, thanks to WhyMommy I know different – and you should […]

  112. Jenn says:

    Thank you so much for sharing part of your life with us – I have also posted about it, it’s something that I had no idea about so I want to tell all that I can as well!

    Thank you

  113. Leanne says:

    Just read your post about IBC, my precious mother suffered horribly from IBC and went home to be with the Lord on Oct. 22, 2004. We miss her terribly, for two years this dreaded disease consumed my life. I will be happy to share any knowledge that I have of her treatments and one of her dear friends who was diagnosed two months after mama and is still living today, it is a miracle. Lots of love, prayers and best wishes. Leanne

  114. pat says:

    I am posting this today on my own small blog. You are beyond an inspiration to me and many others.

  115. 1389 says:

    Hat tip to Susan Reynolds for letting me know about this article:

  116. […] You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer FTA: “Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been…That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a ve (tags: cancer health) […]

  117. […] most important thing you can do today is read this article.  Thanks, Betty Jo for bringing this to my […]

  118. Sheila Allen says:

    I was diagnosed with IBC in 1999 w/6 mo to live.
    I’m still laughing and scratching (tho one-breasted:) ), eight years later.
    Love, support and laughter are the best medicines.
    You are in my prayers.
    IBC’s survival rates are improving – you will live long and blog well.

  119. Karen says:

    I just came from Genuine’s blog. I am so sorry to hear about your IBC diagnosis. I am being treated for breast cancer also, but mine is easily treated. Know that you are in my prayers.

  120. palette48 says:

    You are doing a great service by putting this information out there. You and your family are in our prayers.

  121. Sassy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this information and putting your struggle out there– you’re in my thoughts and prayers, and a link to this post will be going up over at my site momentarily.

  122. […] of a woman recently diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. As per the request of the author of Toddler Planet, I am going to post her message to all women and their loved ones: We hear a lot about breast […]

  123. […] I’m honored to share blogger Whymommy’s story with you. Like Jhianna said, it’s “heartbreaking, touching, scary, and above all, […]

  124. Count me in for sharing your story. Best regards to you and your family.

  125. […] Planet, “Inflammatory Breast Cancer” Important news for all women. Please […]

  126. Jennifer says:

    About 2 months ago, I had a mad case of mastitis, but since I haven’t breastfed for almost 9 months, I just knew it was cancer. Thank God, after doing breast ultrasound and MRI, the doc, who was not taking any chances, said it was mastitis. Ladies… take control… demand a test before they assume it is mastitis. The $85 dollars it cost me after insurance for my ultrasound was well worth it. Had it been cancer, I would have caught it as early as possible, BEFORE messing with antibiotics that would not help.

    Good luck to you and your fight. Thank you for sharing your story.

  127. […] Angels Oh, and I also have Inflammatory breast cancer. These fine women and men are helping me get through it by talking with me and keeping me company […]

  128. […] August 16th, 2007 The following is a stolen public service announcement post from Toddler Planet. […]

  129. DailyCents says:

    Great posts and thanks for sharing the struggle – I’ve posted a video about IBC for anyone to check out, and our blog’s also become really popular because of Kirston Mann, a Hollywood designer who writes about her ongoing battle with breast cancer.

    Best wishes!

  130. […] If like me, you feel for lumps every once in a while to reassure yourself that all is well, please read this post from Whymommy at Toddler Planet. […]

  131. […] of parent bloggers joining forces for Team WhyMommy is case in point.  WhyMommy at the Toddler Planet blog has turned her personal diagnosis into an opportunity to educate people about the rare and often […]

  132. I’m all in. I’ve been meaning to sign up for a while. Here’s my post for you, along with thoughts, prayers, and love: Team WhyMommy: I’m All In, MoFo!

  133. rimarama says:

    Sending strong, healthy, hopeful thoughts your way.

  134. Lynn Saxton says:

    I was diagnosed with IBC November of 2005 (just before Thanksgiving). I had had a mammogram in August which showed nothing but had felt itching since spring. In October I detected a lump that hurt; my doctor at first thought it was hormonal, but the lump grew very fast. I have now been through 4 months of aggressive chemo, surgery (I chose to have both breasts removed, the right one prophylactically), and over 6 weeks of radiation and a little over a year after completing the treatment my doctors say everything looks good. Recently an article about my cancer was published in the paper and following the article I had a call from another IBC survivor who is 11 years post treatment. Remember that the statistics are from women treated several years ago and that treatments have changed and improved; we will make our own statistics. I wish you all the best and if you need to talk, my email is

  135. […] steal WhyMommy’s post from Toddler Planet as she writes much more eloquently than I ever could, even if I weren’t up at 1:30am blogging […]

  136. […] Inflammatory breast cancer […]

  137. Glennia says:

    I’m posting this on my blog tomorrow morning. I’ll put up the button, but I’m code-challenged, so that might take me a while to figure out how to put it in my sidebar. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  138. Chris says:

    I found your site searching for information on IBC. I am a mother of 3 and my heart was touched by you. Sending you strength, positive energy and healing. Take time to connect to your body using imagery that these cancer cells are shrinking/dissolving.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family


  139. david says:

    Our son came up with the phrase “Don’t Stare..Say a Prayer”, when he was fighting cancer. To see his story go to Thank you and keep praying.

  140. Laura Stuewe says:

    Hi, I’m older than you, old enough to be your mom, but have been fighting IBC since Mar. of 06. With proper treatment, prayer, and the support of many you can, and will survive. I’m keeping you in my thoughts all ready. You can and will make it!

  141. […] button over there on the right (no, the other right … under the … yeah, right there) to learn more about inflammatory breast cancer and to join the […]

  142. cchrissyy says:

    I’ll blog it ASAP!

  143. […] head over to Toddler Planet and educate yourself on inflammatory breast cancer, a rare, often misdiagnosed form of breast cancer. If you feel so inclined, I would love you to […]

  144. markofando says:

    Want to start your private office arms race right now?

    I just got my own USB rocket launcher 🙂 Awsome thing.

    Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters – which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
    You can get the gadget here:

    Check out the video they have on the page.


    Marko Fando

  145. Ursula says:

    I found your site through another blog as I’ve been doing my own post for Breast Cancer Awareness month, fresh from learning earlier this morning that a dear friend of mine with 2 toddlers of her own has recently been diagnosed. I have linked to this at the bottom of the page and I plan on flying the WhyMommy button on my blog as well. Thank you for sharing this for everyone and anyone to read.

  146. amanda says:

    I just read this and my heart goes out to you. Thank you for informing us. I will always keep this in mind and share it with anyone that will listen.

  147. […] It’s a bit daunting to write this first post. There’s so much to discuss about organics and healthy living that it’s hard to know where to start. So I think I’ll go back to thoughts of a woman who inspired me to start this blog, an incredibly courageous mother who is raising two young children and fighting inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), all while blogging as “WhyMommy” at Toddler Planet. […]

  148. Wayne says:

    My wife is 41 year old, 2 children now 13 and 10. She began treatment for stage-4 Her2+ breast cancer in October 2005. A lump on her kneck was the only indicator. Scans revealed, mets in the Liver, lungs and breast.
    We started with aggressive Chemo (carboplatin, herceptin), 4 months and the cancer tumor had reduced. We tried Hormone Therapy, worked for 8 weeks, Cancer progressed through skin in an arc 4 inches long under the breast, and after that, Lapatinib held it for 4 months, Cancer became Inflammatory Breast Cancer under the skin, she had urgent Radiotherapy from sternum under arm. Radiotherapy softened tissue but cancer returned at edge of burn mark near shoulder blade within 1 week. The inflammatory cancer growns in an area as big as my hand in a week when flaring its hot swelling spreads quickly when uncontrolled or waiting between therapies.
    Now changing to another chemo, her left arm is now near unusable, she has been fighting this for just over two years, nothing can describe the how inspiring this lady is, and all of you who fight this disease.
    My wife works as a primary school teacher, she loves every day on this earth, we love her every day.
    Spend less on war and administration, and more on funding to eradicate this disease.
    Best Regards. Wayne.

  149. […] breast cancer I found this post over at  Toddler Planet and its important not just for us ladies but for men with […]

  150. dishywinnie says:

    Thank you for allowing people to repost this , as I have done – will be praying for you and your family

  151. Amelie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I wish you strength for your fight against cancer, supportive friends and families, and a lot of luck.

  152. […] who’ve offered advice or found my site and left comments. This means the women – WhyMommy of Toddler Planet, Sher of Wrekehavoc, Gift of Green, Rejin from Urban Botany, Beth from Fake Plastic Fish, MC Milker […]

  153. Sarah says:

    Wow. Good stuff. Phyllis Johnson, who is an IBC survivor extraordinaire and English teacher, wrote about this exact topic (not all breast cancer starts as a lump) a few weeks ago. What do you think?

    You can also read all Phyllis’s blogs on her experience with IBC here:


  154. I was one of the “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer” but I am now in remission

  155. Andy says:

    Oh, and did not know about it. Thanks for the information …

  156. […] was later diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer, a breast cancer without lumps, Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She found this out just a few weeks before the 2007 BlogHer […]

  157. […] I stumbled across this blog posting from another mommy who is battling Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  Since I recently had a bout with Mastitis, I thought it was important to post this article as the symptoms of Mastitis can be very similar to those of Inflammatory Breast Cancer. From Toddler Planet  […]

  158. Tela says:

    I hope all goes well with your surgery! Many blessings.


  159. Nancy says:

    You have educated many many women, and have touched many more hearts.

    I am one that believes in prayer. I will be praying that your surgery goes well and gives you a new beginning.

    You have been fighting the fight, and you have many here, locking arms, that are right there with you.

  160. […] a double mastectomy as I write. She has two little boys, 3 1/2 and 1. Read her post about Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Detection. And then say a prayer for her. And take a few minutes to read her blog Toddler Planet and read her […]

  161. […] Today, WhyMommy is in surgery for a double mastectomy because of inflammatory breast cancer. […]

  162. Sherry says:

    Hi Susan. I came here from Mommy Needs a Cocktail. You are one strong woman. I have posted this on my blog. I am also following you on Twitter. I will keep you in my thoughts as you battle this thing. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  163. Joani says:


    I too have posted your story on my blog. I hope it goes around thousands of times and touches more lives than ever thought. I for one knew nothing of this type of breast cancer. I now have learned a wealth of information. Thank you.

  164. leslie says:

    i have a question, i have to go monday for a mamogram and an ultrasound of my left breast, i can not feel a lump but what i am expericing is pain and tenederness in my left breast and the pain raidiates to my underarm and my left underarm is also very tender to the touch, my breast itches some too but not all the time, and there is also a numbeness from my breast to my underarm… i dont have the redness and the skin does not have the feeling of an orange,,,, i had utrien cancer 3 years ago and had to have a complete hysterectomy,,, i am a little scared and i guess is what i am hoping for is someone to tell me i am just being silly that it is really nothing, i stated having this trouble back in aug and it has progressiley gotten worse and not the pain and soreness is constent, anyone have any advice on what to look for when they do the mamogram and ultrasound am i just being paraoniod, any advice would be welcome thanksyou Leslie

  165. leslie says:

    i forgot to leave my email address i am sorry
    thankyou again

  166. […] raising a preschooler (Widget, born 8-04) and a new toddler (Little Bear, born 1-07) while fighting inflammatory breast cancer with the support of my friends, Team WhyMommy. You can also find me at DC Metro Moms Blog, Review […]

  167. Very informative post, good work, keep it up.

  168. ilinap says:

    Wow. You have moved me and informed me. I’m stealing this post right now.

  169. whymommy says:

    Great! Thanks!

  170. straycat says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. just read this and my heart goes out to you.

  171. […] Toddler Planet. We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast […]

  172. jane broderick says:

    I want to commend you on your website and all of your info. My friend died with breast cancer a couple of years ago. I really miss her.
    You are a brave woman 🙂
    Thank you for all your input, I read your article in the June Traverse the magazine, and cried 😦
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  173. Kim says:

    wow, thanks for sharing. I had no idea that you could have breast cancer without a lump! I have nursed three kiddos and an had mastitis a few times and the symptoms are so similar. Luckily mine cleared up with antibiotics. Thanks again! I wish you all the best in your fight! NCLM

  174. Marla says:

    TY for post. I am seeing the breast surgeon tomorrow to figure out what is going on. I have most of the symptoms that you describe. The only difference is that mine started out with a leasion that we thought was a bug bite.

  175. KIm says:

    I almost fell out of my chair when I read the article in this month’s issue of “HEALTH”.
    I have found not one person with this disease and I too have shared my story with anyone and everyone who would listen. Sometimes, I have been known to force my story upon the reader or listener to get my point across.
    I am 41 years old. I was diagnosed with this disease in May of 2002. I was 35.
    I have no children, but, I have been plugging along successfully for over 6 years now.
    Your story has inspired me to go out again and share my story and yours to all. Your face in the magazine will help this story get out and circulate. New people will here this for the first time and remember this disease just because they have a “picture” in their mind along with your story. Lives will be saved because of your bravory and this story. THANK YOU!
    Congtatulations to you for your continued health. Good Luck to you in your live and with your family. Blessed be You!

  176. kathy says:


    we are all sisters, you are one brave, strong woman!! I to have been battling ibc for the past year, had a pet scan done yesterday, waiting for the results!! i know that your story is similar to mine as far as treatment goes, however we bounce back and keep on keeping on, today i jumped roped, and i have hair!! may god bless you always, your doing a great thing educating people, ibc is not heard of. thank you i am grateful to have found this site.


  177. Yani says:

    Thank you for sharing yout life and your story with us. My sister been battling ibc for the past six months in Indonesia. she is been going for her chemo therapy since mid Febuary. She said is very hard now to continue with the treatment. the cancers been spreads to other part of her body. She is a sleep a lot for most of her days. she said the pains is just unmeasurable. Must been very hard for the 38 years old mom with three children 12,8,and 2 her husband have to quit his job to take care my sister and kids. To day I read your web site and i read most of your supporter whymommy. It is very touchy. I am sorry for my broken English, but I have to tell you how brave you are. I been planning to play back to my home town to be with my sister as soon as I have enough fund for her surgery. Again thak you so much and keep up with the good healt.
    May God bless you and your family


  178. Gina says:

    I, too, read the article in Health magazine with much interest. My mother, who has been fighting IBC for 2 years. I am only 32 years old, however my mother has IBC, two of my aunts (her sisters) have IBC, and my first cousin was diagnosed with IBC at age 40. One of my two aunts is actively dying from her disease. My grandmother–my mom’s mother–died with liver cancer 28 years ago (origin of cancer unknown).

    I feel like my chances of getting breast cancer, specifically IBC, are very good, and that my chances of getting adequate care are limited, mainly because of doctor and insurance limitations. I would not be beyond preventative mastectomy, however my insurance would likely disagree. They only want to pay for testing for typical cancers with mammography. I doubt my doctor even knows much about IBC.

    So, I’m at a place of trying to decide what to do from here to give myself the best prevention possible. I so appreciate your blog which provides support and education to so many women…that’s my one advantage in this battle for my future health…knowledge.

  179. Michell says:

    I’ve heard of this before and know that education is the best to help with early detection. Thanks for posting this and good luck with your journey.

  180. Laura says:

    thanks for the info. Does anyone know about this
    I am 25 years old and am having some of these sympotoms on both breasts, itching, and small red bumps should I be worried

  181. Laura says:

    oops my email address is I Laura

  182. Laura says:

    wrond address
    sorry Laura

  183. Susan Niebur says:

    Laura, call your doctor. I don’t give individual medical advice here. Good luck, dear!

  184. […] for IBC.  Check.  I think the Health magazine article and the BlogHer panel, in addition to the post that went viral last year, have raised awareness of IBC.  I’m sure there’s more that I could do, but I’ve […]

  185. tarotpixie says:


    I just found your blog tonight and I’ve posted your message on my blog. I’ve never heard of IBC, despite taking part in many breast cancer walks and fund raisers. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  186. Karen` says:

    Thank you for this honest information. I have just been diagnosed with IBC today and not given a hopeful outlook. I am a single parent of a three year old…..what to do, who to tell, how to handle it.

    I WILL see my girl married. I WILL have the life I planned. There are surviviors and I plan to be one.

    Thank you for the permission to be be positive in the face of this evil disease.

  187. […] was on July 27, 2007 that Susan, aka “WhyMommy,” published a post a Toddler Planet that would forever change […]

  188. Cancer Health says:

    For the love of God, please please do take heed – always do breast self examination. I really wish I had taken notice before. Just to think that my stupidity put me in a situation where I got breast cancer and all because i didn’t do self breast examinations. Really good post. Brenda.

%d bloggers like this: