, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 631-641
Date: 24 Jan 2009

A comprehensive evaluation of outcomes for inflammatory breast cancer

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Objective Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) remains the breast malignancy with the worst prognosis. We sought to determine the effects of race, socioeconomic status and treatment on outcomes for women with IBC. Study design The Florida cancer registry, inpatient and ambulatory data were queried for patients diagnosed from 1998 to 2002. Results A total of 935 patients with IBC were identified (1.5% of all breast cancers). Overall, 83.1% were Caucasian, 13.9% African American (AA), and 15.7% Hispanic. The mean age of diagnosis was 57 years old. AA patients presented at a younger age, with higher tumor grade, and were less likely to undergo surgical therapy than their Caucasian counterparts. Median survival time (MST) for the entire cohort was 32 months, while MST for AA patients was 20 months. Patients who received chemotherapy before surgery, surgery without chemotherapy, and surgery before chemotherapy demonstrated an independent, significantly improved outcome in comparison to patients who underwent chemotherapy without surgical extirpation. The administration of radiation therapy did not demonstrate an improvement in survival. By multivariate analysis, AA race (HR = 2.19) and failure to provide surgery (HR = 2.3) were independent predictors of worse prognosis. No effect of poverty or ethnicity on outcome was observed. Conclusions IBC carries a poor prognosis for all patients with significantly worse outcomes for AA women. Multimodality therapy provided the best survival rates.