, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 321-328

Population-Based Statistics for Women Diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (United States)

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to use population-based information to describe the demographic and tumor characteristics of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)– the most aggressive form of this disease.

Methods: IBC cases diagnosed during 1994 through 1998 were reported to 26 population-based cancer registries covering approximately 40% of the US population. Rates were expressed per 100,000 female population and age-adjusted to the 2000 US population. Ninety-five percent gamma confidence limits were estimated for the rates.

Results: Among the 3626 women diagnosed with IBC during 1994–1998, the majority were 40–59 years old. Most tumors were diagnosed at a regional (68.9%) or distant (25.3%) stage and were poorly differentiated (49.4%). The rate of IBC was 1.3 per 100,000 for all races combined. Black women had the highest risk (1.6) and Asian and Pacific Islander women the lowest (0.7).

Conclusions: IBC is an extremely rare form of breast cancer. More precise diagnostic criteria are needed to distinguish it from less aggressive forms of the disease. Future studies should use a population-based design and collect detailed clinical information, including the presence of erythema, edema or peau d'orange appearance of the skin, and other clinical signs of disease.