logo logo
Search: Organ site Search: Tumor / Syndrome
WHO Classification of Tumours
Inflammatory carcinoma


Inflammatory carcinoma is an advanced, invasive breast adenocarcinoma characterized by the presence of distinct changes in the overlying skin. These changes include diffuse erythema, edema, peau d'orange (orange skin) appearance, tenderness, induration, and warmth. Additional clinical observations are enlargement and in some cases a palpable mass. The skin changes are the consequence of lymphatic obstruction from the underlying invasive breast adenocarcinoma. Microscopically, the dermal lymphatics typically show prominent infiltration by malignant cells. There is no significant inflammatory cell infiltrate present, despite the name of this carcinoma. Morphologically and histologically, inflammatory carcinoma is usually of ductal, NOS type.
Inflammatory carcinoma is an aggressive tumour with a relatively poor prognosis. With the introduction of systemic therapy, 5-year survival has improved from <5% to 25-50%

Click to access Pubmed
Moore MP, Ihde JK, Crowe JP, Hakes TP, Kinne DW (1991)
Inflammatory breast cancer.
Arch Surg 126: 304-6

Click to access Pubmed
Palangie T, Mosseri V, Mihura J, Campana F, Beuzeboc P, Dorval T, Garcia-Giralt E, Jouve M, Scholl S, Asselain B (1994)
Prognostic factors in inflammatory breast cancer and therapeutic implications.
Eur J Cancer 30A: 921-7

Click to access Pubmed
Carlson RW, Favret AM (1999)
Multidisciplinary Management of Locally Advanced Breast Cancer.
Breast J 5: 303-307

. Mastectomy and radiotherapy are recommended for initial local control and palliation of symptoms
Click for details
Tavassoli FA, Devilee P (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Breast and Female Genital Organs.
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2003