Breast Cancer - Inflammatory: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Inflammatory breast cancer makes up 1% to 5% of all breast cancers. Nearly all cases are diagnosed in women. Because inflammatory breast cancer can grow and spread quickly, this cancer is often locally advanced, meaning it has spread to areas around the breast, when it is first diagnosed. For this reason, it may be treated similarly to a later-stage breast cancer.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. Based on the latest available data from the National Cancer Institute, from 1988 and 2001, the five-year survival rate of people with inflammatory breast cancer was 34%. However, survival rates can vary between 11% and 49% depending on the stage, tumor grade, certain features of the cancer, and the types of treatment used. It is important to note that new treatments have been approved since these statistics were published. Women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer today may have much higher survival rates because doctors now have a better understanding of how to treat inflammatory breast cancer.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with inflammatory breast cancer. Because survival statistics for inflammatory breast cancer are measured in multi-year intervals, they may not represent recent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society

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