October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s the ideal time to learn the facts surrounding this diagnosis. There are many different types of tumors that are classified by location, spread, and how they look under a microscope. The following guide explains the distinguishing characteristics of the most common forms.
A Guide to Different Types of Breast Cancer
1. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is characterized by abnormal cells in the lining of the breast milk ducts. Approximately one in five new breast cancer diagnoses are DCIS.
The condition is considered noninvasive because it has not yet spread to the rest of the breast tissue, but it can become invasive if left untreated. Once detected with a mammogram, the condition can be treated with breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or a mastectomy.
2. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) occurs when abnormal cells break through the milk ducts and grow into the breast tissue. From there, IDC may metastasize to other areas of the body.
This is the most common type of invasive breast cancer, making up about 80% of all cases. It can develop at any age, but older women are at a higher risk. Surgery is required to remove the tumor.
3. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common type of invasive breast cancer. It begins in the milk-producing lobules, invades surrounding tissue, and can metastasize to different parts of the body.
Like IDC, ILC is more common in older women. Local treatment options include surgery and radiation therapy to treat the tumor, and systemic treatments may involve chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapies to eliminate cancer cells that spread from the original tumor.
4. Triple Negative
“Triple negative” refers to the fact that this type of tumor doesn’t contain estrogen, progesterone, or HER2—the three most common types of receptors known for causing breast cancer growth. The cancer cells will test negative on all three tests.
This is an invasive and aggressive cancer that grows and spreads at an unusual speed. There are fewer treatment options, but chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation can sometimes be used depending on the size of the tumor and how far the cells have spread.
This month, come to Main Street Radiology in Bayside, NY, for a mammogram. As a designated breast cancer screening center, their imaging facility is well-regarded for its commitment to patients. Using the latest medical imaging equipment, they make diagnosing and treating a wide variety of conditions easier. Learn more about mammography online, or call (718) 428-1500 to schedule an appointment.