It is very important that you know the various breast cancer types and that you understand your specific disease. By understanding what is going on inside of your body, you are better able to feel like you have an active role in your road to recovery.
A breast biopsy is the best method to define the type of cancer. Click here to learn more about the types of breast biopsy
The following are the most common types of Breast Cancer:
Types of Breast Cancer that are Non-Invasive:
Noninvasive cancers are confined to a particular duct or lobule.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
- What is Ductal Carcinoma In Situ?
DCIS is an area of abnormal cells within the lining of duct. These cells are contained and are not invasive (They may become invasive if untreated.).
- Symptoms of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ:
Typically DCIS is found on mammograms. It may appear as a breast mass or as a group of microcalcifications.
- Facts about Ductal Carcinoma In Situ:
DCIS has an extremely high cure rate it treated while it is still contained within the duct. If not treated, DCIS may continue to grow and leak out into the surrounding breast tissue. Having DCIS does increase your risk for developing another type of breast cancer during your lifetime.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
- What is Lobular Carcinoma In Situ?
LCIS is an area of abnormal cells that are found with in the milk lobule. These cells are well contained and are not invasive.
- Symptoms of Lobular Carcinoma In Situ:
LCIS is usually found on a mammogram and typically does not have any associated symptoms. On a mammogram LCIS may appear as microcalcifications or as a vague mass.
- Facts about Lobular Carcinoma In Situ:
The cure rate for LCIS is very high it treated quickly. If treatment is not given, LCIS may become an invasive cancer.
Types of Breast Cancer that are Invasive:
Invasive Breast cancers are one of the types of breast cancer that are not confined to a particular areas in the breast such as within a lobule or duct. These cancers are aggressive and tend to spread to other areas of the body.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
- What is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma?
IDC is a group of cancerous cells that are not confined to a particular duct. They have broken out of the duct and are spreading into the surrounding tissues. From here, they can also travel to the lymph nodes, blood stream and to other parts of the body. The most common places for travel are the lungs, liver or bones. Early detection and treatment are key to your recovery.
- Symptoms of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma:
IDC may appear as a breast lump. This lump may feel very fixed and not movable. However, some forms of IDC are not palpable. On a mammogram IDC may show up as a spiculated or irregular mass. It may or may not have microcalcifications associated with it.
- Facts about Invasive Ductal Carcinoma:
Of all of the types of breast cancer, IDC is the most common. If caught early, IDC is a treatable form of breast cancer.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
- What is Invasive Lobular Carcinoma?
ILC is a group of cancerous cells that are not confined to a particular milk lobule. They have broken out of the lobule and are spreading into the surrounding tissues. From here, they can also travel to the lymph nodes, blood stream and to other parts of the body. The most common places for travel are the lungs, liver or bones. Early detection and treatment are key to your recovery.
- Symptoms of Invasive Lobular Carcinoma:
ILC may appear as a breast lump. This lump may feel very fixed and not movable. However, some forms of ILC are not palpable. On a mammogram ILC may show up as a spiculated or irregular mass. It may or may not have microcalcifications associated with it.
- Facts about Invasive Lobular Carcinoma:
ILC is less common that IDC. If caught early, ILC is a treatble form of breast cancer.
Other Types of Breast Cancers:
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
- What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. It strikes quickly and must be treatly quickly to prevent rapid invasion into other parts of the body.
- Symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer:
Imflammatory breast cancer often causes the breast to appear as red, pink or have the appearance of a rash. The skin may apprear to have an apprearance of an orange peel or have welts and ridges. The breast typically swells and looks larger that the other, unaffected breast. Overall pain through out the entire breast is also a sypmtom. Nipple discharge and underarm tenderness may also be present.
- Facts about Inflammatory Breast Cancer:
The breast becomes inflammed with Infammatory breast cancer because the cancerous cells block the lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast. This causes a ‘back-up’ of the lymphatic fluid; resulting in breast pain and swelling. This apprearnce can mistaken and confused with a breast infection. If these symptoms are not relieved with a round of antibiotics, a breast biopsy should be considered to rule out inflammatory breast cancer.
- What is Paget’s Disease?
Paget’s disease is a rare cancer that begins in the milk ducts of the nipple. It is a slow growing cancer and generaly has a very sublte appearance.
- Symptoms of Paget’s Disease:
Symptoms of Paget’s disease are very subtle and often go untreated for several months. Paget’s disease genrally starts out as what appears to be a sore on the tip of the nipple that does not heal. As time goes on, it starts to get a ‘crusty’ appearance. It also may appear red, produce drainage, and may itch or burn.
- Facts about Paget’s Disease:
Because Paget’s disease does not produce a ‘breast lump’, most women do not get concerned with nipple changes. Paget’s disease is primarily first diagnosed clinically based on the apprearance of the nipple rather than with the use of a mammogram. If you doctor is concerend that you may have Paget’s disease, he or she will probably still prefer to definitively diagnose this is diesease with the use of a nippe biopsy.
Sometimes referred to as Colloid Carcinoma
- What is Mucinous Carcinoma?
Mucinous Carcinoma is a rare form of breast cancer. It is formed when cancerous cells in your breast produce a mucous. This results in a tumor that has the texture of jelly.
- Symptoms of Mucinous Carcinoma:
Because of the jelly texture inside of the lump, it may be diffucult to feel a mucinous carcinoma tumor in your breast. These tumors are usually first detected on a mammogram as a suspicous and irregular mass. Ultrasound can sometimes be used for further evaluation, however, some mucinous carcinomas blend in very well within the normal breast tissue and can be difficult to see with ultrasound.
- Facts about Mucinous Carcinoma:
Compared to the other types of breast cancer, Mucinous carcinomas of the breast are very rare. They are also sometimes difficult to clearly diagnose. A complete and thorough work-up with the use of mammogram, breast ultrasound, and physical breast examinations are usually the best methods for detection.
Staging Breast Cancer:
Breast Cancer staging is a methodology that your doctor may use to numerically explain your disease. It is often used in most types of breast cancer.