Breast Cancer - Inflammatory: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2021

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

Inflammatory breast cancer makes up an estimated 1% to 5% of all breast cancers. The disease typically occurs in women younger than 40. Black women seem to have a higher risk of inflammatory breast cancer than white women. Inflammatory breast cancer can also occur in men. Men are typically older when they are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer when compared with women.

Because inflammatory breast cancer can grow and spread quickly, this cancer often spreads to the lymph nodes around the breast. This means it is usually at a locally advanced stage when it is first diagnosed since the breast cancer cells have grown into the skin. For about 1 out of 3 people with inflammatory breast cancer, the cancer has already spread to distant parts of the body when first diagnosed.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with inflammatory breast cancer is 41%.

However, survival rates vary depending on the stage, tumor grade, certain features of the cancer, and the treatment given. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 56%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 19%.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with inflammatory breast cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute websites (sources accessed January 2021).

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by inflammatory breast cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.