Breast Cancer - Type

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What are the different types of breast cancer?

Breast cancer can be described as invasive or in situ. Invasive breast cancers are tumors that have spread beyond the ducts or lobules of the breast and have begun to invade normal tissues.

In situ breast cancers -- ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) -- are considered to be noninvasive forms of breast cancer. In these conditions, abnormalities in the cells have caused proliferation of atypical cells, but these cells have not spread beyond the ducts or lobules of the breast.

DCIS is currently an area of controversy in the breast cancer field. The risk of DCIS is that a few of the abnormal cells may ultimately become invasive cancer cells. However, many cases of DCIS will never become invasive, and after excision of the abnormal areas, most cases of DCIS do not recur. However, there remains the possibility that simple excision of DCIS is not sufficient to prevent recurrence in some women, so additional treatment is often given. Currently studies are underway in an attempt to identify which cases of DCIS are most likely to become invasive and which cases will follow a more indolent course.

Among invasive breast cancers, about 70% arise in cells of the ducts and are known as invasive ductal carcinomas. Another 10% arise in the milk glands or lobules and are termed invasive lobular carcinoma. The remaining breast cancers are made up of less common types of cancer, including Paget's disease of the nipple, a type of cancer that affects cells beneath the nipple. Combinations of different cancer types are also possible.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: helen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I have mucinous colloid breast cancer clear margins, treated with anastrazole. I also take Actonel 35 mg, bad side effects. I am ready to stop all medicines. Actonel should not be given to anyone.

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