There are various types of breast cancer. The most common types of breast cancer are:
The type of breast cancer is based on the specific cells in the breast which are affected. Generally, breast cancers are carcinomas. Carcinomas are tumors found in the epithelial cells that line organs and tissues all through the body.
The other, less common types of breast cancers are as
These types of cancer originate in the cells of the muscle, fat, or connective tissue. At times, a single breast tumor can be a blend of different types. And in very rare types, the cancer cells may not form a lump or tumor at all.
A biopsy is done to detect the specific type of breast cancer and it is also checked if cancer has spread into the neighboring tissues. On this basis, the following terms are used to explain the degree of cancer:
In situ cancers
Ductal carcinoma in situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ is non-invasive breast cancer in which abnormal cells originate in the lining of the breast milk duct. The atypical cells do not spread outside of the ducts into the neighboring breast tissue. It is very early cancer and is totally curable. However if undiagnosed or left untreated, it can spread into the neighboring breast tissue.
Lobular carcinoma in situ
It is also known as lobular neoplasia. This breast change is not exactly cancer; however, the name could be confusing. In LCIS, cells that seem to be like cancer cells grow in the lobules of the milk-producing glands of the breast, but they don’t grow through the wall of the lobules.
Invasive breast cancer
Breast cancers that have spread into adjacent breast tissue are referred to as invasive breast cancer. There are several types of invasive breast cancer, but the most common types are
Invasive ductal carcinoma
In Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, the cancer cells that originate in the milk ducts have spread outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells may also spread to other parts of the body. The disease is also infiltrative ductal carcinoma.
Invasive lobular carcinoma
In Invasive lobular carcinoma, the cancer cells originate in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast.
Invasive cancer indicates that the cancer cells have broken out of the lobule where they started and have a possibility to spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
Inflammatory breast cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of breast cancer that grows very fast, making the affected breast red, swollen and tender. It occurs when cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in the skin covering the breast, giving the characteristic red, swollen appearance of the breast.
Inflammatory breast cancer spreads from its starting point to surrounding tissue and probably to nearby lymph nodes.
Metastatic Breast Cancer
In Metastatic breast cancer, cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This generally includes the lungs, liver, bones or brain.
Paget disease of the nipple
Paget disease of the nipple is a very rare type of cancer which begins in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola.
Phyllodes tumors are a rare kind of breast tumors. They grow in the connective tissue of the breast, indifference to carcinomas that develop in the ducts or lobules.
Angiosarcoma is a very rare kind of breast cancer that starts in cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels. It may involve the breast tissue or the skin of the breast
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