Types of Breast Cancer
The two main types of breast cancer include invasive and non-invasive breast cancer. Within these two categories are other forms of breast cancer, including infiltrating ductal carcinoma, Paget's disease of the nipple, intraductal carcinoma, and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Invasive breast cancer makes up the majority of breast cancer cases.
When determining what type of breast cancer you have, a doctor performs a biopsy to look at breast tissue under a microscope. This allows the doctor to look at the breast tissue cells for breast cancer and, if found, the type of cancer present.
Breast cancer types can be invasive (moves into the surrounding tissue) or non-invasive (stays in the ducts or lobes). Healthcare providers will often use the term "infiltrating" instead of invasive. Some types can also be named based on where the cancer begins. For example, ductal carcinoma begins in the lining of the milk ducts while another type, lobular carcinoma, begins in the lobules where breast milk is produced.
Invasive Breast CancerInvasive breast cancers make up 70 to 80 percent of all breast cancer cases. The most common type of invasive breast cancer is infiltrating ductal carcinoma (also called invasive ductal carcinoma). This type is found in approximately 60 percent of breast cancer cases. The second most common type of breast cancer is infiltrating lobular carcinoma (also called invasive lobular carcinoma), found in approximately 6 percent of breast cancer cases.
Other, less common, invasive types of breast cancer include:
- Infiltrating ductal and lobular carcinoma
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Medullary carcinoma
- Mucinous carcinoma
- Paget's disease of the nipple
- Papillary carcinoma
- Tubular carcinoma.
Non-Invasive Breast CancerNon-invasive breast cancer types have not moved into the surrounding breast tissue. Therefore, the prognosis is good for these types of cancer.
Common non-invasive types of breast cancer include:
- Intraductal carcinoma, also known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).