I’m back with another informative Breast Cancer Awareness post for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every Friday for the rest of this month, I’ll be making posts regarding breast cancer. Last week I discussed the importance of getting a mammogram. This week, I’ll be informing you all about the different types of breast cancer. Again, I do not have breast cancer or personally know anyone with it, but I think it’s important not to overlook the importance of breast cancer.
There are a lot of different types of breast cancer, so for this post, I will only discuss the most common ones, some of the less common ones, and the categories/subcategories they can follow in.
Breast cancer can either can be categorized as invasive, noninvasive, or metastatic. There are also intrinsic or molecular subtypes of breast cancer as well. So let’s look at the definition of these words.
Invasive: This means that cancer has spread to surrounding breast tissues (source)
Noninvasive: Stage 0 cancer. This means the abnormal cells have not spread into the surrounding breast tissue (source)
Metastatic: This means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as the liver, brain, bones, or lungs (source)
Intrinsic/molecular: These are subtypes that are based on the genes a cancer expresses (source)
Most Common Types Of Breast Cancer
1. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
This is a noninvasive type of breast cancer. Ductal meaning the cancer starts in the milk ducts, carcinoma meaning that it begins in the skin that covers the internal organs, and situ meaning it’s in its original place. Although it’s not life threatening cancer, having DCIS can put you at a higher risk for the cancer to come back or for a new one to develop. The chances for recurrence of DCIS are under 30%.
2. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
LCIS is not necessarily a breast cancer, but a breast change. It’s defined as abnormal cell growth, which in turn can cause the development of invasive breast cancer. LCIS is most often diagnosed before menopause (between the ages of 40 and 50) and typically diagnosed after having a biopsy performed. It is suggested women with LCIS should have regular screenings as they are at a 7 to 12 times higher risk of getting invasive cancer.
3. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
This is the most common type of breast cancer, with 80% of breast cancers being IDC. If you are diagnosed with IDC, then this means that the cancer has spread and invaded the tissues of the breast. This could also cause it to become metastatic and spread throughout the body. Two-thirds of women are 55 or older when they’re diagnosed with this cancer. IDC also affects men as well just as many other forms of breast cancer can.
Image: A breakdown of the types of breast cancer (source)
Least Common Types Of Breast Cancer
1. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
IBC is very rare and only 1% are IBC cases. It starts with redness or swelling of the breast, but the symptoms can quickly get worse and it can spread vastly. IBC is most common in African American women and women who are overweight.
2. Paget’s Disease Of The Nipple
This a rare type where cancer collects around the nipple. It spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola. It can look like eczema, so if eczema has been treated but there’s no improvement then it’s recommended to get a biopsy. Paget’s disease accounts for less than 5% of breast cancers with the developing age being after 50 years old.
Please remember that I am not a professional. If you’d like more information then you can go to the sources I’ve provided, but you should also seek information from a professional if you feel like you might be at risk for breast cancer.