Cancer Information

Types of Breast Cancer

  • Non Infiltrating type

  • Infiltrating type

Non-infiltrating (also called in situ) breast cancer. This does NOT metastasize but breast recurrence is a problem. 

There are two types:

1. Lobular carcinoma in situ is usually an incidental biopsy diagnosis. It is an 8 to 10 times risk factor (26) giving about a 1% per year risk for invasive carcinoma in the same or opposite breast. Treatment may be either observation or bilateral mastectomies.

2. Intraductal carcinoma is being diagnosed with increasing frequency due to mammography. The risk for subsequent invasive cancer is about 1% per year in the opposite breast so the contralateral risk approaches that for lobular carcinoma in situ. Recurrence in the same breast varies by type. 

There are following subtypes, based on morphologic criteria

  •  solid

  • cribriform

  • micropapillary

  • comedo .

Intraductal carcinoma, particularly when of high grade and usually the comedo type, can travel extensively but undetected through the breast. Because of this, there is a risk for the subsequent development of invasive cancer in the breast after the in situ cancer is excised. For this reason, radiotherapy or mastectomy may be indicated after excision of intraductal carcinoma.Eventually, intraductal cancer can become invasive. The behavior of low grade ductal in situ and lobular carcinoma in situ is quite similar.

Invasive breast cancer:

  • Increasing age is the chief risk factor 

  • Ill-defined outline 

  • May be associated with skin fixation, dimpling, or nipple retraction. 

Common Types of invasive carcinoma are- 

  • Ductal 

  • Lobular 

  • Medullary 

  • Inflammatory breast -This cancer accounts for 3% of breast cancers and it has a very poor prognosis.

 Less common types (% occurrence). In pure form, these tend to have a relatively good prognosis. 

  • Mucoid or colloid breast cancer-2.4% 

  • Tubular breast cancer-1.2%

  • Adenoid cystic- breast cancer-0.4% 

  • Cribriform breast cancer-0.3% 

  • Carcinosarcoma-0.1% 

  • Papillary breast cancer 

  • Comedo carcinoma 

  • Squamous breast cancer 

  • Apocrine breast cancer 

Hormone Receptor positive Breast Cancer - Up to 70% or so of breast cancer is either estrogen or progesterone receptor positive. Identifying a cancer, as hormone receptor positive is important to determine hormonal treatment is an option. 

Stages of Breast Cancer - It is important to know the exact stage of the cancer because treatment and prognosis of Breast Cancer largely depends on the stage of the cancer.

Stage 0 - Cancer within the duct or the lobule, without any invasion of surrounding tissue.

Stage I- disease for invasive breast cancer means that the cancer is limited to the breast itself. It does not involve lymph nodes in the armpit and has not spread to other areas in the body. Stage I disease is still a life-threatening illness potentially, and for about 20% of the individuals, there is a long-term risk of recurrence and death.

Stage II- cancer that involves the breast and the regional lymph nodes, the long-term survival is not as good. It's probably in the range of 40 to 60% long-term survival from the disease.

Stage III- disease is larger tumors that involve greater numbers of lymph nodes.

Stage IV- (Metastatic disease) in which cancer has spread beyond the breast and immediately adjacent lymph nodes. 5-year survival is between 25-40%