The balance of benefits versus harms of breast cancer screening is controversial. A 2013 Cochrane review stated that it is unclear if mammographic screening does more good or harm. A 2009 review for the US Preventive Services Task Force found evidence of benefit in those 40 to 70 years of age, and the organization recommends screening every two years in women 50 to 74 years old.The medications tamoxifen or raloxifene may be used in an effort to prevent breast cancer in those who are at high risk of developing it.Surgical removal of both breasts is another useful preventative measure in some high risk women.In those who have been diagnosed with cancer, a number of treatments may be used, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy.Types of surgery vary from breast-conserving surgery to mastectomy.Breast reconstruction may take place at the time of surgery or at a later date. Worldwide, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women, accounting for 25% of all cases.In 2012 it resulted in 1.68 million cases and 522,000 deaths.It is more common in developed countries and is more than 100 times more common in women than in men.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that survival statistics are based on large numbers of patients and that an individual woman’s prognosis could be better or worse, depending on her tumor characteristics and medical history. Women who have inflammatory breast cancer are encouraged to talk with their doctor about their prognosis, given their particular situation.
Ongoing research, especially at the molecular level, will increase our understanding of how inflammatory breast cancer begins and progresses. This knowledge should enable the development of new treatments and more accurate prognoses for women diagnosed with this disease. It is important, therefore, that women who are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer talk with their doctor about the option of participating in a clinical trial.