Just how aggressive is Grade 3?

I was dx with grade 3 IBC today - well yesterday but I’ve not slept yet!  I’ve been studying this site which seems to answer a lot of questions, but I do have one burning question cos I read one post and need clarification.  How quickly does a grade 3 cancer grow.  In about three weeks I reckon mine has at least doubled in size - and the powers that be haven’t re-felt the lump - but told me I’d be operated on on 3rd Oct - (2.5 weeks).   If it continues growing at this rate I’ll need a new bra - and its getting uncomfortable already - is this normal?  Is it super agressive and should I push for the op to be brought forward.


Thanks guys and gals


Hello Akelahbc Welcome to the forums, I’m so pleased that you are finding them useful. Whilst waiting for replies to your post maybe you could call our free helpline where the staff can offer practical information as well as emotional support. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00. Best wishes June, moderator

Hi Cindy


So sorry to hear you are going through this worrying time.


My cancer was also invasive (ductal, the commonest one) grade 3. I was diagnosed at the beginning of October, but didn’t have my mastectomy until 12th December. I had arrangements to have our bathroom modified for a disabled person and couldn’t put it off so the surgeon said that would be ok.  So I waited 9 - 10 weeks.  2 - 5 weeks is about average I think. The feelings of discomfort and that it has grown, is quite common. Our minds work overtime when we are worrying about the outcome, but even a grade 3 invasive doesn’t grow as quickly as we think it will. If it has grown in size, the grade will not change.


Here is a  link to a page on the Macmillan site that explains grading and staging breast cancer:




I know it is difficult, but please do try not to worry. They probably wouldn’t be able to bring the surgery closer anyway. Surgeons have lists for operations and they don’t usually change that.


Sending you hugs and best wishes


Poemsgalore xx

Hi Cindy


I know very little about Inflammatory Breast Cancer but understand that it is very aggressive and is normally treated with chemo prior to surgery, if you do have IBC i’d ask for a second opinion, hopefully somebody with more knowledge will be along shortly.


Take care



Thanks for your replies everyone .

After reading Lydia’s post i realise I have given you the wrong info!  whoops sorry.  I used ibc thinking of Invasive breast cancer - not Inflammatory!  This is all a massive learning curve, and I think i was also in a bit of shock!

I have spoken to the breast cancer nurse and has assured me things can’t go any more quickly, but I  can put my concerns to the surgeon (who dx me) next Monday as he’s on call this week.  I’m sure I’ll have many questons for him then - and I’ll get him to check the growth!  The nurse was quite patronising when trying to explain WLE - as I had already explained I knew all that as mum had a melenoma years ago - and when asked, the nurse said others had bigger lumps and others smaller - mine was middling - I felt she was fobbing me off!!  she also said after each session of biopsies the area would swell as a result of the needles anyway so its not as bad as I probably reckon.

I do feel a lot calmer today - and have decided I’m calling the lump Brian so I’m not using the big scary C word!!

Thanks girls, I bet I’ll be back shortly x



Hi - I too was diagnosed recently on 20/8 with stage 3 invasive ductal breast cancer.  It was such a shock as I had convinced myself it was harmless cyst like I had about 10 years ago.  Mammogram last August was clear & didn’t feel lump until few days prior to rpt mammo, USS & biopsy this August.  I  went to Gp in July as breast felt dense, swollen & painful.  Gp gave me course of abx initially as thought unlikely to be the big C!!  but referred me to Consultant via rapid access referral few weeks later.  I had masectomy with snb on 5/9 & have been avoiding looking online too much.  I’ve been doing Ok since surgery, lots of support from family & friends but worried as have some swelling & discomfort today just below the surgery scar.  Due to see Consultant next week when I will get the full picture, also had CT & Bone scans prior to surgery.  I know I’m due for chemo & radiotherapy but when & for how long I’ve no idea.  Two days after my diagnosis my Dad died, so the time leading up to my surgery I was kept busy helping my Mum arrange the funeral etc. It seemed quite unreal at times & I’ve not been at work since the diagnosis so life has changed completely.  We didn’t sleep well for days but you do in the end as you just get so exhausted & you have to try & have some normal days.  It difficult seeing how it affects your loved ones, my husband found the waiting for me going for surgery the worst as just wanted me to be rid of the tumour.  It’s good to read about others  experiences & to know you’re not alone.





Hi Honeybee12  and welcome to the BCC forums

I am sure you will gets lots of support and shared experiences from your fellow users and in addition our helpliners are here with practical and emotional support for you on 0808 800 6000, weekdays 9-5 and Saturday 10-2 

The following links will take you to the ‘Just diagnosed’ and ‘Treatments’ sections of the website where you will find lots of information when you are ready to read up on your diagnosis and treatment options and also more support ideas from BCC which I hope you will find helpful:



Take care

Lucy BCC

Hi ladies and gents,

I was diagnosed with aggressive (G3, triple neg, Node positive) Breast Cancer at 37, with 3 young daughters. I went through mastectomy, chemo, radio, gene testing, and then prophylactic (keyhole) salpingo oophorectomy, (which brought on a surgical menopause), another mastectomy and bi-lat recon with a DIEP flap and a TRAM flap.  The tram suffered partial necrosis so I had a crater and vacuum for weeks, before having a Lat Dorsi flap. Finally I had a nipple reconstruction and last year finished with nipple tattoos.

If you would like to read my story, it’s on amazon - just search for me  name edited by moderator  in books. I wrote it to help people going through it all, and it has already raised some funds for BCCare, but I want you all to know there is light at the end of this particular tunnel and to offer you any support, or info I can. It is wonderful to have someone who’s been there to share their experiences and chat to. I found writing about it all very therapeutic - it might help you too. xx