- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasize) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known, although a number of risk factors have been identified.
- There are many different types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
- a lump in the breast or armpit,
- bloody nipple discharge,
- inverted nipple,
- orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast’s skin,
- breast pain or sore nipple,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
- a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by self-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
What are the different types of breast cancer?
There are many types of breast cancer. Some are more common than others, and there are also combinations of cancers. Some of the most common types of cancer are as follows:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ: The most common type of noninvasive breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This type of cancer has not spread and therefore usually has a very high cure rate.
- Invasive ductal carcinoma: This cancer starts in a duct of the breast and grows into the surrounding tissue. It is the most common form of breast cancer. About 80% of invasive breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma: This breast cancer starts in the glands of the breast that produce milk. Approximately 10% of invasive breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinoma.
- The remainder of breast cancers are much less common and include the following:
- Mucinous carcinoma are formed from mucus-producing cancer cells. Mixed tumors contain a variety of cell types. Medullary carcinoma is an infiltrating breast cancer that presents with well-defined boundaries between the cancerous and noncancerous tissue.
- Inflammatory breast cancer: This cancer makes the skin of the breast appear red and feel warm (giving it the appearance of an infection). These changes are due to the blockage of lymph vessels by cancer cells.
- Triple-negative breast cancers: This is a subtype of invasive cancer with cells that lack estrogen and progesterone receptors and have no excess of a specific protein (HER2) on their surface. It tends to appear more often in younger women and African-American women.
- Paget’s disease of the nipple: This cancer starts in the ducts of the breast and spreads to the nipple and the area surrounding the nipple. It usually presents with crusting and redness around the nipple.
- Adenoid cystic carcinoma: These cancers have both glandular and cystic features. They tend not to spread aggressively and have a good prognosis.
The following are other uncommon types of breast cancer:
- Papillary carcinoma
- Phyllodes tumor
- Tubular carcinoma
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