"I Didn't Know"... The Deadliest Type of Breast Cancer

Brooke Kincannon, Diagnosed with IBC
Brooke Kincannon, Diagnosed with IBC

It's one of the most deadly forms of breast cancer, yet very few women have even heard of it. But, doctors say you cannot afford to stay in the dark any longer.

We've all heard it hundreds of times;do self exams, check for lumps, go to the doctor.

But with inflammatory breast cancer, that's not enough.

"They call it the silent killer for a reason. You don't know you have it until you are at least in stage three." On October 30, 2008, Brooke Kincannon's life changed forever. "I'm in stage four. There is no stage five."

She didn't know IBC can look like a bug bite or rash.

"A little redness, some orange peeling, a little bit or inversion, but nothing that I didn't think was uncommon for my age changing."

She didn't know a mammogram won't detect it.

Breast surgical oncologist Rakhshamda Layeequr Rahmen says, "women who are undergoing regular screening mammogram's can be under a false sense of security. So even if they've had a little redness or something didn't look quite right they'd say oh I just had a mammogram and that was normal."

She didn't know IBC has one of the lowest survival rates of any breast cancer.

"We have seen patients in the clinic that I saw today, you do a biopsy, come back one week later for results and discussion. And you say oh my gosh what happened?" She's not the only one who didn't know. "No one I know even knew it existed."

IBC was not even mentioned in the handbook Brooke received from her doctor.

"I had to look online to find information about it."

Komen for the Cure Board member Nancy Rudolph says, "We have a lot of education to do." The major symptoms include: redness, skin is hot to the touch, constant itching, thickening of breast tissue, rapid increase in breast size.

Brooke's body is responding well to treatments, and she is making it her mission to make sure others never have to say 'I didn't know'. "We are making sure that everybody knows."

IBC affects all ages. Brooke is 33, that's seven years younger than the age doctors consider high risk for breast cancer.