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Not All Breast Cancer Has Lumps

Posted Oct 29 2008 5:11am
By now you've probably heard that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I've wanted to post something in honor of it, but wasn't sure exactly what. But then, while dropping Entrecards, I came across a post on AZ Mom Of Many Hats, and I knew that was it!

I was really touched by a post she made entitled, My Sister's Cancer. Her post describes her sister's (Amy's) journey with breast cancer. The thing is, it's a type of breast cancer that we aren't taught to check for and I hadn't even heard of. It's called Inflammatory Breast Cancer, (I.B.C.) because it causes the appearance of inflammation in the breast -- not a lump! Her sister was doing everything right, she knew her family history, she knew to have mammograms, she knew to look for a lump when doing her self breast exams --but her cancer was not in the form of a lump, and now Amy is engaged in the fight of her life. (Follow Amy's journey at

What do you need to know to protect yourself? Although doing your monthly self exam can be a life-or-death matter, in addition, you need to be aware to look for the signs of I.B.C. which AZ Mom tells us are:

S -size or swelling
I -inflammation or itch
S -soreness
T -texture, orange peel
E -engorgement, flat nipple
R -redness, change in color

What can you do to help win the fight against breast cancer - of all sorts? One of the easiest things you can do is to click on the pink ribbon icon at the top of my first sidebar. Clicking that button "helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through the efforts of the National Breast Cancer Foundation."

In addition, many companies now make it easy to help. For example, Yoplait ® will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, up to $1.5 million, for every pink lid you send in to them. You may also want to join in the " Komen Race for the Cure, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, with well over 1 million participants since 2005. The races raise significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrate breast cancer survivorship, and honor those who have lost their battle with the disease." Visit to find a race in your area. And of course, donations are always welcome!

Thanks to both AZ Mom and Amy for sharing this important information. We wish all the best to Amy as she struggles to become cancer free and hopefully her story will help others to recognize the signs of I.B.C. and receive early treatment.
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