There are several different types of breast cancer. Following a diagnosis, a medical team will perform an in-depth evaluation to identify the specific type(s) of cancer present. Cancer classification is a key factor in determining the most appropriate course of treatment.
In general, breast cancer can be noninvasive, or “in situ,” which means that the cancerous cells have remained confined within their place of origin. Or, the cancer may be invasive, which indicates that the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues. Breast cancer is also categorized based on the type of tissue that it originates in, such as a milk duct, milk-producing lobule or, more rarely, connective tissue.
Some types of breast cancer include:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ – Begins with abnormal changes in the cells that line a milk duct
- Lobular carcinoma in situ – Occurs when atypical cells form in the lobules of a milk-producing gland
- Invasive ductal carcinoma – Originates in a milk duct, breaks through the duct wall and grows in the fatty tissue of the breast
- Invasive lobular carcinoma – Develops in a milk-producing gland and then spreads to another part of the body
- Inflammatory breast cancer – Mimics mastitis, or a breast infection, but the symptoms (breast skin that is warm and red with a thick, pitted appearance) are caused by cancer cells that block lymph vessels
- Triple negative breast cancer – Lacks estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and hormone epidermal growth factor 2 (HER-2) receptors and, thus, is unresponsive to hormone therapies
- HER-2 positive breast cancer – Has an elevated level of HER-2 receptors that promote cancer growth
- Paget disease of the nipple – Starts in a milk duct and spreads to the skin of the nipple and areola
- Male breast cancer – Manifests in the breast tissue of a man
- Metastatic breast cancer – Spreads beyond the breast to other areas of the body
At the Moffitt Cancer Center breast clinic, our patients have access to an outstanding team of breast cancer specialists who provide all aspects of care and support in one convenient location. A referral is not needed to receive care at Moffitt, and each patient gets the benefit of multiple expert opinions, which are used to develop an individualized treatment plan.
To learn more about Moffitt and our services and support for various types of breast cancer, please call 1-888-663-3488 or register to schedule an appintment online.