Types of Breast Cancers

Breast cancers usually begins to grow either in the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma) or the lobules (lobular carcinoma) the glands that produce milk. The cancer may be invasive or noninvasive.

Noninvasive cancer is referred to as ductal carcinoma in stu (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in stu (LCIS).

• Ductal carcinoma in stu (DCIS) is the most common non-invasive cancer that begins in the milk ducts and hasn’t spread to surrounding breast tissues. If left untreated DCIS may develop into invasive cancer.

• Lobular carcinoma in stu (LCIS) is non-invasive cancer that begins in the lobules, the glands that produce milk. The cancer remains in the lobules and hasn’t spread to surrounding breast tissues. If left untreated LCIS may develop into invasive cancer.

Invasive cancer is referred to as invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), and inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

• Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) also called infiltrating ductal carcinoma is the most common type of invasive cancer of the breast that begins in the milk ducts. The cancer is called invasive because it has spread to surrounding breast tissues.

• Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) also called infiltrating lobular carcinoma is the second most common type of invasive cancer of the breast that begins in the milk-producing glands called the lobules. The cancer is invasive because it has spread to surrounding breast tissues.

• Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare type of invasive cancer of the breast that begins with the reddening and swelling of the breast. The cancer is invasive because it has spread to surrounding tissues.

Causes and Risk Factors of Breast Cancers

Cancer of the breast is caused by cancer cells that grow uncontrollably in the breast tissues which is visible as breast lumps and if left untreated can develop into breast cancers. There are number of risk factors that increase a woman’s chance of developing cancer of the breast and these include the following.

• The risk of cancer of the breast increase with age. Women age 55 and over have higher risk.
• Defective genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk.
• Family history of this disease can increase your risk.
• Previous history of cancer in one breast can increase the risk of developing another.
• Women with higher lifetime estrogen exposure have higher risk.
• Women with no pregnancies have higher risk.
• Having first child after age 30 also increase the risk.
• Menstruation before age 12 increases the risk.
• Going through menopause after age 55 increases the risk.
• Obesity after menopause increases the risk.
• Lack of physical activity also increases the risk.
• Pregnant women who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage have higher risk.
• Women who received radiation therapy treatment in the past have higher risk.
• Women who consumed more than 14 alcoholic drinks a week have higher risk.
• Women with high-fat diet also have higher risk.

Symptoms

Symptoms associated with cancer of the breast may include:

• Swelling of the breast or breast lumps that is painless.
• Changes in size and shape of the breast.
• Redness of the breast.
• Clear or bloody discharge from the nipple.
• Inverted nipple.
• Swelling in the armpit.

Metastasis of cancer of the breast can cause serious complication because the cancer has advanced and spread to other part of the body including the bones, lungs, liver, brain, lymph nodes and skin. Symptoms associated with advanced stages of breast cancer may include bone pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, headaches, and skin ulcers.

Types of Treatment

Early detection is the best method of treating and preventing the disease. The death rate associated with this disease is very low due to early detection and treatment. There are numbers of test a doctor can perform before breast cancer treatments to detect cancer cells in breast tissues and these may include mammography, MRI, ultrasound, biopsy, CT scan, and PET scan.

There are different types of treatments used to treat different stages of cancer of the breast and these include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The treatment may be local or systemic depending on the stages of the cancer. Local treatments use radiation and surgery to treat specific area on the body with cancer cells. Systemic treatments use chemotherapy to treat cancer cells, this type of treatment effect the entire system of the body.

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