TYPES OF BREAST CANCER
There are several types of breast cancer, and they are broken into two main categories: “invasive” and “noninvasive,” or in situ. While invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
These two categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer, which include:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in your breast and haven’t invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ: Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. Like DCIS, the cancer cells haven’t invaded the surrounding tissue.
- Invasive ductal carcinoma: Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breast’s milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma: Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) first develops in your breast’s lobules and has invaded nearby tissue.
Other, less common types of breast cancer include:
- Paget disease of the nipple: This type of breast cancer begins in the ducts of the nipple, but as it grows, it begins to affect the skin and areola of the nipple.
- Phyllodes tumor: This very rare type of breast cancer grows in the connective tissue of the breast. Most of these tumors are benign, but some are cancerous.
- Angiosarcoma: This is cancer that grows on the blood vessels or lymph vessels in the breast. The type of cancer you have determines your treatment options, as well as your likely long-term outcome.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare but aggressive type of breast cancer. IBC makes up only between 1 and 5 percent Trusted Source of all breast cancer cases. With this condition, cells block the lymph nodes near the breasts, so the lymph vessels in the breast can’t properly drain. Instead of creating a tumor, IBC causes your breast to swell, look red, and feel very warm. A cancerous breast may appear pitted and thick, like an orange peel. IBC can be very aggressive and can progress quickly. For this reason, it’s important to call your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms.
- Triple-negative breast cancer: Triple-negative breast cancer is another rare disease type, affecting only about 10 to 20 percent of people with breast cancer. To be diagnosed as triple-negative breast cancer, a tumor must have all three of the following characteristics: It lacks estrogen receptors. These are receptors on the cells that bind, or attach, to the hormone estrogen. If a tumor has estrogen receptors, estrogen can stimulate the cancer to grow. It lacks progesterone receptors. These receptors are cells that bind to the hormone progesterone. If a tumor has progesterone receptors, progesterone can stimulate the cancer to grow. It doesn’t have additional HER2 proteins on its surface. HER2 is a protein that fuels breast cancer growth. If a tumor meets these three criteria, it’s labeled a triple-negative breast cancer. This type of breast cancer has a tendency to grow and spread more quickly than other types of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancers are difficult to treat because hormonal therapy for breast cancer is not effective.
- Metastatic breast cancer: Metastatic breast cancer is another name for stage 4 breast cancer. It’s breast cancer that has spread from your breast to other parts of your body, such as your bones, lungs, or liver. This is an advanced stage of breast cancer. Your oncologist (cancer doctor) will create a treatment plan with the goal of stopping the growth and spread of the tumor or tumors.
- Male breast cancer: Although they generally have less of it, men have breast tissue just like women do. Men can get breast cancer too, but it’s much rarer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer is 100 times less common in white men than in white women, and 70 times less common in black men than in black women. That said, the breast cancer that men get is just as serious as the breast cancer women get. It also has the same symptoms.