It is usually difficult for the doctors to find out the specifics of a breast cancer tumor, but using a tissue sample from breast biopsy can go a long way in identifying your breast cancer type. Breast cancer diagnosis helps the medical team determine the most appropriate treatment option. The type of breast tissue where your cancer arises determines how it behaves and what treatments are most effective. Parts of your breast where cancer begins include milk ducts, milk-producing lobules and connective tissues.
There are different types of breast cancer, some of them are relatively rare or can be a combination of different types, either invasive or in situ breast cancer. Nonetheless, here is a quick insight about four different breast cancer types.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
This type of breast cancer is considered pre-invasive or non-invasive and is also known as intraductal carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma in situ is typically characterized by the presence of atypical or abnormal cells in the lining of the breast milk duct. It is normally considered a pre-cancer because some cases can transform to become invasive cancers if its left untreated or undetected.
Invasive (infiltrative) ductal carcinoma (IDC)
Unfortunately, this is one of the commonest types of breast cancer. It starts in the milk ducts then it spreads through the walls of the ducts into other parts of the breast’s fatty tissue. Invasive breast cancer can also metastasize to other parts of the body through the blood stream and the lymphatic system. Actually, this explains why IDC is sometimes called infiltrative ductal carcinoma.
Invasive (infiltrative) lobular carcinoma (ILC)
ILC can spread to other parts of the body just like invasive ductal carcinoma, but it starts in the lobules or milk producing glands. It is vital to point out that invasive lobular carcinoma is somewhat rare. Also, unlike IDC, this type of breast cancer may be harder to detect by a mammogram test.
Triple-negative breast cancer
Ideally, this is a term used to describe breast cancers whose tumors lack the three most common receptors, such as estrogen, progesterone, and the HER-2 that are known to stimulate breast cancer growth. Triple-negative breast cancer symptoms tend to occur more often in younger women, especially African-American women. Unfortunately, treatments like hormone therapy, and drugs that usually target these receptors are ineffective since the tumor cells lack the necessary receptors. Chemotherapy can be an effective treatment option for this type of breast cancer.
These are few common types of breast cancer, although there are other types that are less commonly seen, including Paget disease of the nipple, Mucinous (or colloid) carcinoma and Tubular carcinoma.