Breast Cancer is a form of cancer in which the breast cells mutate and become cancerous. They multiply and form tumours. It can start from different parts of the breast and have distinct characteristics and genetic markers. This article explains more about the different types of breast cancer.
Types Of Breast Cancer
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
DCIS is the presence of abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast, and it is the earliest form of breast cancer. However, it is non-invasive, meaning it hasn’t spread out of the milk duct to other body parts. In addition to that, you can find DCIS when you do a mammogram as a part of the breast cancer screening or when you investigate a breast lump. Treatment includes breast-conserving surgery combined with radiation or surgery for removing all the breast tissue.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
The second type of breast cancer is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, also known as infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for almost 80 per cent of breast cancer. IDC happens when abnormal cells grow in the milk duct lining and invade breast tissue beyond the duct walls. Furthermore, once cancer reaches the bloodstream, it travels to other organs, and this cancer turns into metastatic breast cancer.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
Unlike the other two types of breast cancer, LCIS is an uncommon condition in which cells grow abnormally in the milk glands in the breast. It isn’t cancer, but being diagnosed with LCIS increases the risk of breast cancer. LCIS doesn’t show on a mammogram but shows up on a biopsy.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
ILC is the second most common type of breast cancer and about 10 per cent of all breast cancers are ILC. It doesn’t have particular symptoms, but you can detect it through a mammogram. The cancer has four stages- I, II, and III are described as early-stage cancer and IV is the stage when cancer spreads outside to the other parts of the body.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
IBC is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, and the cancer cells block the lymph vessels of the breast. It is termed ‘Aggressive’ because the breast often looks swollen, red, or inflamed. IBC progresses rapidly and gets diagnosed either in Stage III or IV.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
It is a kind of breast cancer that doesn’t have the receptors typically found in Cancer. The receptors for the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and a protein called human epidural growth factor (HER2) are missing. This kind of breast cancer is aggressive and challenging to treat as it doesn’t respond to hormone therapy. However, chemotherapy is still an option.
HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
It is a type of breast cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidural growth factor receptor 2. This protein promotes the growth of cancer cells. Targeted therapies like Herceptin are used for the treatment of this type of cancer.
Hormone Receptor-Positive (HR+) Breast Cancer
In this category, there are both estrogen receptor-positive and progesterone receptor-positive (PR+) breast cancers. Both these cancers have receptors for these hormones, and treatments like hormone therapy can effectively block their growth.
These are the eight types of breast cancer, and the most common ones are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.