Conditions InDepth: Breast Cancer
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Normal Anatomy and the Development of Breast Cancer
Types of Breast Cancer
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)—Is 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). This type of cancer has a high cure rate. However, if left untreated, DCIS will progress to infiltrating 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 incidental, 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 infiltrating 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.
Breast cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003090-pdf.pdf. Accessed January 2, 2014.
Breast cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast. Accessed January 2, 2014.
Breast cancer. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/breast-cancer/index.html. Updated November 17, 2010. Accessed January 2, 2014.
Breast cancer in women. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 16, 2013. Accessed January 2, 2014.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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