Before you start reading, take this helpful quiz on infiltrating/invasive ductal carcinoma as a preview to this FAQ. Q. I’ve learned I have IDC, which the doctor called infiltrating ductal carcinoma. But someone else called it invasive ductal carcinoma. Are they the same thing? A. Yes, they are. And here’s what’s going on: atypical cells–cells that, for an unknown reason, mutated as they grew–have collected in the ducts in your breast. Ducts are the tiny tubes that carry milk from the lobules, where it’s made, to the nipple. At some point, these atypical cells broke through the duct wall, and started moving into the surrounding tissue. This is when your cancer crossed the line from DCIS–ductal carcinoma in situ–to invasive (infiltrating) ductal carcinoma–IDC. Q. So what suddenly made these cells move into the rest of my breast, rather than just continue to collect? A. Excellent question. And researchers would love to k...
There are some types of invasive ductal carcinoma that happen less commonly than others. In these cancers, the cells can look and behave somewhat differently than invasive ductal carcinoma cells usually do. If you’re diagnosed with one of these cancers, talk with your doctor about how this could affect your treatment plan. You can read more about these cancers on the following pages:
Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast
Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast
Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast
Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast
Cribriform Carcinoma of the Breast
The medical experts for Less Common Subtypes of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma are:
Jennifer J. Griggs, M.D., medical oncologist/hematologist, Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Clifford Hudis, M.D., Chief, Breast Cancer Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
These experts are members of the Breastcancer.org Professional Advisory Board , including more than 70 medical e...
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer. Ductal means that the cancer starts inside the milk ducts, carcinoma refers to any cancer that begins in the skin or other tissues (including breast tissue) that cover or line the internal organs, and in situ means "in its original place." DCIS is called "non-invasive" because it hasn’t spread beyond the milk duct into any normal surrounding breast tissue. DCIS isn’t life-threatening, but having DCIS can increase the risk of developing an invasive breast cancer later on.
When you have had DCIS, you are at higher risk for the cancer coming back or for developing a new breast cancer than a person who has never had breast cancer before. Most recurrences happen within the 5 to 10 years after initial diagnosis. The chances of a recurrence are under 30%.
Women who have breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) for DCIS without radiation therapy have about a 25% to 30% chance of having a recurrence at some po...
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