Types of Breast Cancers

Breast cancer can be divided into different types based on the way the cancer cells look under the microscope. Breast cancer can begin or start in different areas of the breast —the lobules, the ducts or in some cases, in between the tissue. In this section, you can learn about the different types of breast cancer, including invasive, non-invasive, recurrent, triple negative and metastatic breast cancers.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a aggressive and rare form of breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 1-5% of all breast cancer cases are inflammatory breast cancers in the United States. Inflammatory breast cancer usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the breast instead of a certain lumps. IBC tends to grow and spread quickly, with symptoms worsening within days or even hours. It’s important to recognize symptoms and seek prompt treatment. Although inflammatory breast cancer is a provoking diagnosis, keep in mind that treatments today are better at controlling the disease than in previous days.

Male Breast Cancer is a very rare disease. Male breast cancer is less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2014, about 2,360 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. You may be thinking: Men don't have breasts, so how can they get breast cancer? The truth is that boys and girls, men and women all have breast tissue. The various hormones in girls' and women's bodies stimulate the breast tissue to grow into full breasts. Boys' and men's bodies normally don't make much of the breast-stimulating hormones. As a result, their breast tissue usually stays flat and small. Still, you may have seen boys and men with medium-sized or big breasts.

Invasive lobular Carcinoma (ILC) or infiltrating lobular carcinoma, is the second most common type of breast cancer after invasive ductal carcinoma (cancer that begins in the milk-carrying ducts and spreads beyond it). About 10% of all invasive breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinomas and it’s about 80% are invasive ductal carcinomas. Invasive means that the cancer has “invaded” or spread to the surrounding breast tissues. Lobular means that the cancer began in the milk-producing lobules, which empty out into the ducts that carry milk to the nipple. Carcinoma refers to any cancer that begins in the skin or other tissues that cover internal organs — such as breast tissue. All together, “invasive lobular carcinoma” refers to cancer that has broken through the wall of the lobule and start to invade the tissues of the breast. Over time, invasive lobular carcinoma can spread to the lymph nodes and possibly to spread to other areas of the body.

Paget disease of the nipple is one rare type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola, the dark circle around the nipple. It is rare and accounting for only about 1% of all cases of breast cancer. The skin of the nipple and areola often appears scaly, crusted, and red, with areas of bleeding or oozing. The woman may notice burning or itching. Phyllodes tumor is very rare breast tumor develops in the stroma or connective tissue of the breast, in contrast to carcinomas, which grows in the ducts or lobules. The other names for these tumors include cystosarcoma phyllodes and phylloides tumor. These tumors are usually benign but on rare occasions may be malignant. Benign phyllodes tumors are treated by removing the tumor along with a margin of normal breast tissue. A malignant phyllodes tumor is treated by removing it along with a wider margin of normal tissue, or by mastectomy.

Breast cancer can be separated into different types based on the way the cancer cells look under the microscope.

Most breast cancers are carcinomas, a type of cancer that starts in the cells (epithelial cells) that line organs and tissues like the breast. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which is carcinoma that starts in glandular tissue. Other types of cancers can occur in the breast, too, such as sarcomas, which start in the cells of muscle, fat, or connective tissue.

Ductal carcinoma in situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is considered non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. DCIS means that cells that lined the ducts have changed to look like cancer cells.

 

Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma

 

This is the most common type of breast cancer. Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in a milk duct of the breast, breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast.

Invasive (or infiltrating) lobular carcinoma

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules). Like IDC, it can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Inflammatory breast cancer

This uncommon type of invasive breast cancer accounts for about 1% to 3% of all breast cancers. Usually there is no single lump or tumor. Instead, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) makes the skin on the breast look red and feel warm.

Phyllodes tumor

This very rare breast tumor develops in the stroma (connective tissue) of the breast, in contrast to carcinomas, which develop in the ducts or lobules.

Angiosarcoma

This form of cancer starts in cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels. It rarely occurs in the breasts. When it does, it usually develops as a complication of previous radiation treatments.

  • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ & Lobular Carcinoma in situ
  • luminal A and B Breast cancer
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
  • Paget Disease of the Nipple and Phyllodes Tumor
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer
  • Male Breast Cancer

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