Inflammatory Breast Cancer: New Hopes and Many Hurdles

ArticleinJournal of the National Cancer Institute 101(19):1302-4 · September 2009with4 Reads
DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djp340 · Source: PubMed
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a relatively rare and extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that is diagnosed clinically. Standardization of clinical diagnoses is challenging, both nationally and internationally; moreover, IBC coding definitions used by registries have changed over time. This study aimed to compare diagnostic factors of IBC reported in a U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry to clinical criteria found in the medical records of all invasive breast cancer cases at a single institution. We conducted a medical record review of all female invasive breast cancers (n = 915) seen at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Detroit from 2007 to 2009. IBC cases were identified based on the presence of the main clinical characteristics of the disease (erythema, edema, peau d'orange). We compared the proportion of IBC out of all breast cancers, using these clinical criteria and the standard SEER IBC codes. In the reviewed cases, the clinical criteria identified significantly more IBC cases (n = 74, 8.1%) than the standard IBC SEER definition (n = 19, 2.1%; p < 0.0001). No IBC cases were identified in the cancer center records using the SEER pathologic coding, which requires the diagnosis of inflammatory carcinoma on the pathology report, a notation that is rarely made. Emphasis must be placed on the documentation of clinical and pathologic characteristics of IBC in the medical record, so that analysis of putative IBC subtypes will be possible. Our results indicate the need for a consensus on the definition of IBC to be utilized in future research.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013