Between 1975-1977 and 1990-1992, IBC incidence doubled, increasing among whites from 0.3 to 0.7 cases per 100,000 person-years and among African Americans from 0.6 to 1.1 cases. However, rates for African Americans varied due to the small numbers of IBC cases. The twofold increase in IBC incidence was higher than that observed for non-IBC during the same period (27% for African Americans and 25% for whites). IBC patients were significantly younger at diagnosis than non-IBC patients; and among both IBC and non-IBC patients, African Americans were younger than whites. Overall survival was significantly worse for IBC patients than for non-IBC patients and for African Americans than for whites. Among whites, 3-year survival improved more for IBC patients than for non-IBC patients between 1975-1979 and 1988-1992, increasing from 32% to 42% for IBC patients (P=0.0001) and from 80% to 85% for non-IBC patients (P=0.0001).
The prognosis, or likely outcome, for a patient diagnosed with cancer is often viewed as the chance that the cancer will be treated successfully and that the patient will recover completely. Many factors can influence a cancer patient’s prognosis, including the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, the patient’s age and overall general health, and the extent to which the patient’s disease responds to treatment.
Because inflammatory breast cancer usually develops quickly and spreads aggressively to other parts of the body, women diagnosed with this disease, in general, do not survive as long as women diagnosed with other types of breast cancer.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.