Inflammatory breast cancer in Italy

Epidemiological and clinical aspects


  • Maria Teresa Ionta MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medical Oncology, Azienda University Hospital, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
    • Department of Medical Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Cagliari, Italy IT-09100
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  • Francesco Atzori MD,

  • Bruno Massidda MD

  • The articles in this supplement were presented at the First International Inflammatory Breast Cancer Conference, Houston, Texas, December 5-7, 2008.


Breast cancer represents the most common cancer among women in Italy. In the last decade, an increase in incidence and a decrease in mortality from breast cancer have been observed in Italy. These findings may be explained at least in part by the implementation of organized screening programs (SMPs). The screening programs are not diffused homogeneously throughout Italy, where approximately 60% of the population in covered, which explains in part the different outcomes observed across Italy. On the basis of the available data, the authors of this report performed a retrospective analysis on the incidence of 2 different groups of breast cancer patients: those covered or and those not covered by SMPs in Italy. The rates of incidence of T4a, T4b, and T4c breast cancer and of T4 inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) overtime appeared to be lower for the population that was covered by SMPs. On the basis of the estimated 40,000 new cases of breast cancer in Italy per year, the authors attempted to extrapolate the approximate incidence of new cases of T4 breast cancer and calculated that there were between 2800 and 3600 new cases per year taking into account the differences in incidence observed in areas covered or not covered by SMPs. Following the same extrapolations, the estimated incidence of IBC was approximately 200 to 800 new cases per year, representing from 0.6% to 2% of all breast cancers diagnosed every year in Italy. Cancer 2010;116(11 suppl):2736–40. © 2010 American Cancer Society.