Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare breast cancer with a highly virulent course and low 5-year survival rate. Trimodality treatment that includes preoperative chemotherapy, mastectomy, and radiation therapy is the therapeutic mainstay and has been shown to improve prognosis. Proper diagnosis and staging of IBC is critical to treatment planning and requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes imaging. Patients with IBC typically present with rapid onset of breast erythema, edema, and peau d'orange. Both tissue diagnosis of malignancy and clinical findings of inflammatory disease are required to confirm diagnosis of IBC. Imaging is used to identify a biopsy target; direct biopsy; stage IBC; differentiate curable from incurable (stage IV) disease; and help plan chemotherapy, surgical management, and radiation therapy. Comparison of baseline and posttreatment images helps confirm and quantitate disease response. When imaging is used early in the course of therapy to noninvasively predict treatment response, optimal tailored strategies for management of IBC can be implemented. Imaging is vital to diagnosis and treatment planning for patients with IBC, and radiologists are an integral part of the multidisciplinary patient care team.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging