Breast Cancer Overview

Obviously no woman wants to receive the diagnosis, but hearing the words “breast cancer” doesn’t always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts and finding hope.

In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. In reality, about 1 in 8 women in the United States — 12 percent, or about 12 out of every 100 — can expect to develop breast cancer over the course of an entire lifetime.

Breast cancer can begin in different areas of the breast – the ducts, the lobules, or in some cases, the tissue in between. It can be non-invasive, invasive, recurrent, and metastatic breast cancers.


Non invasive – Benign

Types Statistics Description Risk Category
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) Most common type of non-invasive breast cancer.According to American Cancer Society – 60,000 cases/year Breast cancer that has not spread beyond the milk duct into any normal surrounding breast tissue Recurrence – 25% to 30% in those who are treated without surgery. 15 % in those who undergo surgery.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)ORLobular Neoplasia  - A neoplasia is a collection of abnormal cells, so this is not exactly cancer. But abnormal cells develop – indication of Ca in future Uncommon type of Cancer The abnormal growth remains inside the lobule and does not spread to surrounding tissues. Increases a person’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer later on in life.


Invasive – Malignant

Types Statistics Description Risk Category
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)/ Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma Most common type of breast cancer.80% of total breast cancer Cancer that has broken through the wall of the milk duct and begun to invade the tissues of the breast Eventually spreads to lymph nodes and other parts of body.Invasive ductal carcinoma also affects men.
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) Second most common type Cancer that has broken through the wall of the lobule and begun to invade the tissues of the breast ILC tends to occur later in life than IDC — the early 60s.

Less common invasive breast cancer

Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast Less than 1-2% of IDC Small tube shaped cancer cells, grows slowly Mid 40s to late 60s
Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast Less than 3-5% of IDC Tumor is a soft, fleshy mass resembles brain Late 40s to early 50s
Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast Less than 2-3% Tumor “float” in mucin – inner surface of breast Late 60s
Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast Less than 1-2% Well-defined border, with small projections Late 50s to 60s
Cribriform Carcinoma of the Breast Less than 5-6% Invades stroma in nestlike formations between ducts – lobules Found in women after menopause



Other:  Benign and/or Malignant

Types Statistics Description Risk Category
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) Rare but aggressive type. 1-5% of all cases Usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the breast instead of a distinct lump, worsens quickly. Found in younger women, compared to other forms – typically 52 to 57 yrs.Can affect men
Male Breast Cancer Very rare, less than 1% of all cases. Risk factor – older age, radiation exposure, high estrogen level,  etc. May be benign or malignant
Paget’s disease of the nipple Less than 5% of all cases. It  affects the ducts of the nipple first, then spreads to the nipple surface and the areola Associated with DCIS or invasive types of cancer.More common in women than men.
Phyllodes tumors of the breast Less than 1% of all cases The tumor cells grow in a leaflike pattern. Tend to grow quickly. May be benign, malignant or a borderline tumor.Found in women in 40s


Written by Vidhi Soni, MD

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