Breast Cancer can be In Situ Invasive Common Rare

Breast Cancer can be In Situ Invasive Common Rare


This may be something you aren’t aware of. Maybe you haven’t stopped to think about it. Moreover, there are different types. Breast cancer can be...

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Invasive Lobular Cancer (ILC)

Invasive lobular cancer starts out in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast. And then it goes beyond to normal surrounding tissue. Further it can also metastasize through the blood and lymph systems to other body areas.

This is the second most common kind of breast cancer. Invasive lobular carcinoma is often a slow growing tumor, normally grade I or II. Most importantly are mammograms however they aren’t likely to detect ILC compared to other breast cancers.

Because ILC isn’t always clear on a mammogram an MRI could be required. A grade I tumor, slow growing, usually won’t respond well to chemotherapy. Thus hormonal therapy is important for this kind of cancer.

If ILC spreads becoming stage IV breast cancer other organs can be involved such as:

  • Colon
  • Uterus
  • Ovary
  • Stomach
  • Lung
  • Bone
  • Other areas

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

A diagnosis of TNBC indicates that the 3 most common kinds of receptors are not found in the cancer tumor.

These are known to encourage most breast cancer growth:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • HER-2
  • Neu gene

In conclusion meaning breast cancer cells have come back negative for:

  • Hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2)
  • Estrogen receptors (ER)
  • Progesterone receptors (PR)

Without the necessary receptors in the tumor cells usual treatments such as hormonal therapy and drugs aren’t effective. These treatments have been used to target estrogen, progesterone as well as HER-2. But chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer treatment is still effective.

Above all TNBC can respond much better to chemotherapy in the beginning stages compared to other forms of cancer.

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Who’s at Risk for TNBC?

What is TNBC Prognosis?

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

What are IBC Symptoms?

Actually there are many different ways to describe breast cancer. It depends on the certain cell involved. However most are carcinomas.

How is IBC Diagnosed and Treated?

IBC is diagnosed with a classification of stage 3 breast cancer. Your physician determines this through observation and a biopsy. To sum up an IBC biopsy is of the skin of the breast.

Pathology reports must indicate that the skin and dermal lymphatic’s have breast cancer cells in the skin. That is to say this is the confirmation for IBC.

IBC typically grows fast and demands aggressive treatment. It is the only kind of breast cancer requiring urgency starting with chemotherapy. Most importantly oncologists suggest local treatment of the affected breast along with systemic treatment (entire body).

Types of Breast Cancer that are Less Common

There are other kinds of breast cancer involving other cells in the breast. These cancers aren’t very common and they sometimes require other treatments.

Paget Disease of the Breast

Paget disease of the breast (also called mammary Paget disease) is a rare kind of cancer beginning with the breast ducts. It metastasizes to the skin of the nipple and usually the areola (dark circle bordering the nipple). Moreover those having PD identified on the nipple will have one or multiple tumors inside that breast. Thus this is either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer.

Often PD is misdiagnosed at first. This is due to the beginning symptoms seen can be easily confused with more common skin conditions on the nipple. Similar to all breast cancer the PD prognosis focuses on many factors. In conclusion whether there is or isn’t invasive cancer and if it has metastasized to the lymph nodes nearby.

Phyllodes Tumor

Phyllodes tumors are uncommon breast tumors. These form in the connective tissue (stroma) of the breast compared to carcinomas that take form in the ducts or lobules. Often they are benign. However they can be malignant (cancer).



Sarcomas of the breast are rare producing less than 1% of total breast cancers. Angiosarcoma begins with cells found lining blood vessels or lymph vessels. They can include the breast tissue or the skin of the breast. Moreover some can be connected to radiation therapy done prior in that area.

Medullary Carcinoma

According to NBCF medullary carcinoma affects around 3-5% total breast cancer types. Usually the tumor is seen on a mammogram. However it doesn’t feel like a lump all the time. So sometimes it can feel sorta spongy in breast tissue.

Tubular Carcinoma

Tubular carcinoma accounts for around 2% of total breast cancer diagnosis. The cells form a distinctive tubular shape when observed under a microscope. Usually this type is discovered on a mammogram. Further it consists of a collection of cells feeling like a spongy part of breast tissue instead of a lump.

Mucinous Carcinoma (Colloid)

Mucinous carcinoma accounts for about 1-2% total breast cancers. Features that differ are mucus production along with cells that aren’t defined. Most importantly the prognosis is favorable with most cases.

What are Breast Carcinomas?

Carcinomas are referred to as tumors. They begin in your epithelial cells which line organs and tissues. So you know epithelial cells are found in all areas of your body.

To be more specific carcinomas formed in the breast are known as adenocarcinoma. And these begin with the cells of the ducts (milk ducts) or the lobules (milk producing glands).

In Situ and Invasive

What does In Situ Mean?

Carcinoma in situ refers to the earliest stages of cancer. Further in situ breast cancer means it started with the milk duct and has not spread. To sum up the meaning of carcinoma is “cancer” and the meaning of in situ is “its original place”.

What does Invasive Mean?

Invasive (aka infiltrating) breast cancer describes all types that have metastasized (spread) to any surrounding breast tissue.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer also referred to as stage 4 breast cancer has spread to other areas of the body.

Usually involving:

  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Bones
  • Brain

How Does Cancer Spread (Metastasize)?

Cancer cells infiltrate close healthy cells

Taken over this healthy cell can replicate additional abnormal cells.

Migrating through circulation

Carried by the lymph system and the bloodstream cancer cells travel to other areas of the body.

They Lodge into Capillaries

When cancer cells lodge into capillaries they quit relocating. Here at a distant location they divide and migrate to nearby tissue.

New Small Tumors Develop

Cancer cells mold small tumors at the new area (aka micrometastases).

Breast Cancer can be In Situ

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

Ductal Carcinoma in situ is not invasive cancer that contains abnormal cells in the lining of the breast milk duct. These atypical cells have not spread any further. Moreover DCIS is a very early form and highly treatable. Above all if it’s not treated or detected, it can possibly metastasize into other breast tissue.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

Lobular carcinoma in situ is a condition when abnormal cells appear in the lobules of the breast. These atypical cells are still contained and have not gone beyond the lobules. So the cancer is still in the milk glands and has not spread.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation LCIS is very treatable and usually doesn’t turn into invasive cancer. However when this type is in one breast it raises your chances of developing breast cancer in either breast.

Breast Cancer can be Invasive

Above all around 70-80% of all breast cancer is invasive ductal carcinoma.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

Here abnormal cancer cells that developed in the milk ducts have now spread. They are appearing in more areas of the breast tissue. Moreover invasive cancer cells can metastasize to other locations of the body.

Most importantly IDC is the kind of breast cancer that commonly affects men.

Most at risk:

  • Younger people
  • African-Americans
  • Hispanics
  • Those with a BRCA1 gene mutation

TNBC can be very aggressive forming it hard to treat. As well as this cancer is more likely to metastasize and come back. Determining your prognosis will be the breast cancer stage and the grade of the tumor. Most importantly current research is being done to invent drug therapies to go after TNBC.

IBC is an aggressive and fast growing breast cancer where cells invade the skin and lymph vessels in the breast. Usually no distinct tumor is produced or lump. So it can’t be felt and isolated inside the breast. However it’s when the breast cancer cells block the lymph vessels that symptoms activate to occur.

Inflammatory breast cancer is invasive. This kind is uncommon. In short it accounts for around 1% to 5% total breast cancers.

IBC symptoms early on can appear as persistent itching and look like a rash or small insect bite that is irritated. Typically the breast becomes red, swollen and warm. Also there is dilation with the pores of the skin. Furthermore the skin can seem pitted resembling an orange peel and alterations of the nipple like inversion, flattening or dimpling.

An infection of the breast called mastitis has similar symptoms. If your doctor or gynecologist has diagnosed mastitis still symptoms don’t go away follow up. Above all after taking antibiotics for a week and no improvement consult a breast specialist.

There are many ways to describe breast cancer. Identifying them consists of factors like location and if it has spread. Most importantly getting treatment right away will guide prognosis. Likewise, there are groups as well as other support online.

Have you heard any of these breast cancer types?


Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.

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