How To Identify Different Breast Cancer Types

How To Identify Different Breast Cancer Types

Breast cancers have various types, and knowledge on all of them is necessary for defining what treatment you need. Naturally, different types of breast cancers will have different causes, show different symptoms and will need different treatments than other types of breast cancer.

Breast cancer can either be invasive or non-invasive. Non-invasive breast cancers, also called in situ breast cancers, have a very high survival rate. Cancer cells in non-invasive breast cancers are confined to the site where the cancer originated, and have not spread to other organs. The most common non-invasive breast cancer is Ductal Carcinoma In Situ or DCIS, which develops in the breasts’ milk ducts and does not metastasize. The best and easiest treatment for DCIS is mastectomy, and patients are cured fully, most of the times.

Invasive breast cancers are characterized by cancer spreading out to body parts other than the site in which the cancer originates. These cells usually enter the lymph vessels and blood vessels and travel to other body parts, where they develop malignant tumors. The two most common invasive breast cancer types are Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, which is also the commonest breast cancer type, and, Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, or IDC, originates in the breast ducts, breaking through the duct lining, spreads to the breast tissue and can metastasize further from there. IDC is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for almost 70 to 80 out of every hundred cancer cases. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma starts developing in the lobules of the breast that produce milk, and then comes out of there and spreads to other parts. Instead of a lump formation, there is thickening of the breast, usually, when a person develops Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.

All forms of breast cancer do not originate in ducts or lobes. Breast tissues, fibrous connective tissues, blood vessels and lymph vessels can also be the originating site for breast cancer. It is also possible that the cancer does not start in the breast, but spreads to the breast from cancer cells of another cancer. However uncommon these types are, it’s always good to be informed. Inflammatory breast cancer, Paget’s disease of the breast, metaplastic breast cancer, angiosarcoma, osteosarcoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma are some uncommon types of breast cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer is very aggressive, and can originate and start developing cancer cells so rapidly, that within a week, the cancer becomes very advanced and dangerous. This is the reason it is important to know everything about these rare types; you just do not know for sure if they can attack you.

Doctors usually grade invasive breast cancers. They compare the affected breast tissue with a normal tissue, and grade depending on how much the affected tissue resembles a normal one. This process makes it easier to decide the course and procedures for treatment. Grades start from I to III, Grade I implying the cancer is not very advanced, and Grade III suggesting that the breast tissue has lost its normal functioning ability and that the cancer has progressed highly.

As you can see, knowing about all types of cancers can help you recognizing symptoms early on and advise you on how to make your treatment more effective, along with giving you proper knowledge and information on your treatment.

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