Posted by: Patricia Hysong | October 29, 2013

Types of Breast Cancer


Basically, breast cancer is broken down into two forms. Non-invasive and Invasive and within those two forms there are different types. Breast cancer found in men and women are the same types and the stages and patterns of the disease spread in the same ways.

Non-Invasive means that the cancer cells are centralized and have not spread to surrounding tissues.

  • Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Invasive means that the cancer cells have spread to the surrounding tissue.

  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
  • Medullary Carcinoma
  • Mucinous Carcinoma
  • Papillary Carcinoma
  • Tubular Carcinoma
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
  • Paget’s Disease of the Breast (Paget’s Disease of the Nipple)

Invasive breast cancer should not be confused with a cancer that has metastasized. Invasive forms of breast cancer spreads to surrounding tissues. When a cancer has metastasized, it means that the cancer cells have spread to other organs via the blood stream or the lymphatic system.

A carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the lining layer (epithelial cells) of the bodies organs. Nearly all breast cancers are carcinomas.

Upon receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer there are some important questions the need to be asked. After the initial shock wears off, having on hand a list of questions can help the patient to gather information and make informed decisions regarding treatment options and ways to proceed. Here are a few examples:

  1. What type of breast cancer is it? Invasive or non-invasive?
  2. What stage is the cancer in?
  3. What is the recommended course of treatment and why?
  4. What preparations are needed for selected treatment? What are the possible side effects and what needs to be reported to the doctor?
  5. What is the prognosis?

For a full series of 17 questions to ask the doctor, click here.

There are two main types of treatment for breast cancer, Local and Systemic.                                                                                                                                 Local treatments treat small areas of the body with surgery and radiation therapy.

  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Radiation Therapy

Systemic treatments treat the entire body with chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapies.

  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy

See the factsheet at Treatment Choice – An Overview-Susan G. Komen for more information about treatments and their side effects.

For more information, please visit the following resources:

Types of Breast Cancer Tumors-Susan G. Komen

Understanding Breast Cancer-Susan G. Komen

Breast Cancer in Men-Susan G. Komen

What is breast cancer in men?-American Cancer Society

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.


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