Breast cancer as the name suggests refers to the development of cancer cells that are highly mutable in the breast. In the breasts of a woman, tumors can develop in the ducts or lobules of the breasts. These ducts are milk ducts that supply milk to the lobules which play a crucial role in breast feeding in lactating women. There are only two types of breast cancer: lobular carcinogens and ductal carcinogens.
Invasive breast cancer starts in the lobes and ducts and spreads to other parts of the body. There exist three types of cancer:
a) Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
Also known as infiltrating carcinoma, IDC is a common type of breast cancer that develops in the ducts that supply milk and spreads to the duct tubes and invades surrounding tissues. IDC has the potential to invade and spread through the lymphatic system and the blood stream. If you have IDC you will feel an irregular lump in the central area of the breast or nipple retraction. Ductal carcinoma in situ, is included in the IDC category but this type of cancer is non invasive, i.e., it doesn’t spread to surrounding tissues.
b) Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
Invasive lobular carcinoma is also commonly called infiltrating lobular carcinoma. ILC starts in the breast lobules, the region where milk is produced. It is difficult to predict that you have ILC as the symptoms are latent. Check for a web like mass or a thickened area around your breast and visit your doctor in case of any doubt immediately. Initially the cancer cells mutate along the lining of the breast lobules but eventually spread to the nearby tissues. ILC has the potential to metastasize to other body parts.
c) Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
Inflammatory breast cancer is a dangerous form of breast cancer that can make the breast look red and swollen. Women with IBC experience an increase breast size, orange peeling of the breast skin, breast itching, nipple retraction and swollen lymph nodes. IBC accounts for 1-5% of all reported breast cancer cases. IBC is potentially more threatening for younger women and targets African American women more can Caucasians.
Recurrent cancer is that type of cancer which has returned after remission when the patient had been clinically proven cancer free. The cancer may reoccur in any part of the body or on the breast again.
Read to know more about Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis