Living in this world as a woman is a gift to be treasured. But an unfortunate statistic hovering over many female bodies is the contraction rate of breast cancer. Approximately one in eight women will be faced with this scare during the course of their lives, and no one is ever prepared for the dizzying whirlwind of emotions and fear that comes along with breast cancer.
In this article, we’ll address the different types of breast cancer, and at the close, we have some helpful advice on breast health that can be used as preventative measures as well as through the course of cancer.
DCIS – Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
DCIS is a non-invasive cancer type. The cancer begins in the milk ducts and isn’t life threatening, but can increase a woman’s chances for contracting an invasive cancer later in life.
IBC – Inflammatory Breast Cancer
IBC is an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects 1% of breast cancer patients. Swelling and redness is indicative of IBC instead of a typical lump. IBC spreads quickly and it is important to treat it as rapidly as possible.
LCIS – Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
LCIS is in fact, not an actual breast cancer. Instead, it’s an indication that abnormal cells are sprouting and there’s a high risk for development of invasive cancer. Because of this, experts commonly refer to LCIS as lobular neoplasia instead of carcinoma.
IDC – Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Often called infiltrating ductal carcinoma, IDC is the most common type of breast cancer, affecting 80% of breast cancer patients. This particular cancer can spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body, and contraction becomes more common as women age. IDC can also affect men and has many subtypes addressed below.
IDC – Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast
Tubular carcinomas are typically small and slow to grow. This cancer usually responds well to treatment and doesn’t usually grow outside the breast.
IDC – Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast
This is a rare subtype of IDC that presents with a tumor that resembles part of the brain. It is common in Japan and has an aggressive appearance, but is rather subtle and responds well to treatment.
IDC – Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast
Also referred to as colloid carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma of the breast is another rare type of IDC. It tends to be less aggressive, responds well to treatment, and isn’t as likely to spread to lymph nodes.
IDC Type – Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast
Most cases of this IDC type are experienced by women who have already encountered menopause and presents as a moderate grade breast cancer. DCIS is typically present if papillary carcinoma is found.
IDC Type – Cribriform Carcinoma of the Breast
In this often low-grade IDC type, cancer cells make a home in connective tissues of the breast. Cribriform carcinoma often has DCIS present.
ILC – Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
ILC is the second most common type of breast cancer, following IDC. ILC invades the milk-producing lobules and moves on to the breast tissue. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma can affect women at any age and can spread to other areas of the body.
Male Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer is very uncommon, but since every human has breast tissue, men are in danger of contracting breast cancer as well. The risk factor for males is about 1/1000.
Paget’s Disease of the Nipple
With this type of breast cancer, cancer cells form together around and inside of the nipple. Stark changes of the areola are indicative of Paget’s, and more than 97% of carriers also have DCIS or another form of breast cancer.
Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast
These tumors grow quickly and in a leaflike pattern, but it’s uncommon to see them spread to other areas of the breast or body. They can be benign, borderline, or malignant, and often appear in women in their 40’s.
Metastatic Breast Cancer
In a case of metastatic breast cancer, the cancer spreads to other areas of the body; commonly the brain, bones, lungs, or liver. Even with treatment, metastatic cancer does not go away completely, but many women live long, healthy lives after diagnosis.
Any form of breast cancer can be overwhelming, but there are many resources and group available that can ease patients on their path. For preventative measures and for overall better breast care, keep reading our blog.