Conditions InDepth: Breast Cancer
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Breast Anatomy and the Development of Breast Cancer
Types of Breast Cancer
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)—This is the most common pre-invasive breast cancer. More commonly seen now because this form is generally seen on a mammogram and is identified by unusual calcium deposits or puckering of the breast tissue (called stellate appearance). If left untreated, DCIS will progress to invasive breast cancer.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)—Unlike DCIS, LCIS is not really cancer at all. Most doctors consider the finding of LCIS to be accidental, and it is thought to be a marker for breast cancer risk. That is, women with LCIS seem to have a 7-10 times increased risk of developing some form of breast cancer (usually invasive lobular carcinoma) over the next 20 years.
- Ductal carcinoma—This is the most common form of breast cancer and accounts for 70% of breast cancer cases. This cancer develops in the milk ducts.
- Lobular carcinoma—This originates in the milk-producing lobules of the breast. It can spread to the fatty tissue and other parts of the body.
- Medullary, mucinous, and tubular carcinomas —These are three relatively slower-growing types of breast cancer.
- Inflammatory carcinoma—This is the fastest growing and most difficult type of breast cancer to treat. This cancer invades the lymphatic vessels of the skin and can be very extensive. It is very likely to spread to the local lymph nodes.
- Paget’s disease —Paget's disease is cancer of the areola and nipple. It is very rare (about 1% of all breast cancers). In general, women who develop this type of cancer have a history of nipple crusting, scaling, itching, or inflammation.
Breast cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov . Accessed January 31, 2006.
Breast cancer. Womens' Health.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/ . Accessed January 27, 2006.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/91/2012 -
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