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Types of Breast Cancer

DCIS? IDC? Want to make sense of breast cancer acronyms, jargon and alphabet soup? Learn about the types of breast cancer, from what the cancer is to prognosis to what kind of treatment to expect.

Non-Invasive Types

  • DCIS - Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
    Ductal Carcinoma In Situ is 98 to 99 percent curable. It refers to breast cancer that’s in the breast’s milk ducts, the tiny tubes that bring milk from where it’s manufactured (in the lobules) to your nipple.
  • LCIS - Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
    Lobular Carcinoma In Situ is NOT cancer. But it’s a sign that the woman who has it is 6 to 7 more times likely to develop cancer, over the course of her lifetime, than a woman who doesn’t have LCIS: the same risk you’d be at if your mother and sister both had cancer.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Paget's Disease
    Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) accounts for fewer than 5% of new breast cancers. Unlike most breast cancer, it doesn’t start with a lump. Like IBC, Paget’s disease (its full name is Paget’s disease of the nipple) accounts for fewer than 5% of all breast cancers.
  • More on Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    IBC is a relatively rare type of breast cancer grows in the lymph vessels of the skin of the breast.  Because it usually doesn’t form an easy-to-find lump and because it tends to spread rapidly, IBC is the most deadly form of breast cancer. From symptoms to outcomes, here is a brief look at IBC.

Invasive Types of Breast Cancer

  • IDC - Invasive/Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma
    Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma is the most common type; 70% of women with breast cancer have this diagnosis. And 80% of women with invasive breast cancer have IDC.
  • ILC - Invasive/Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma
    Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma occurs in the milk-producing lobules. While most breast cancer (86% of all breast cancer) occurs in the ducts, just 12% occurs in the lobules. Lack of a palpable lump is one aspect of lobular cancer distinguishing it from ductal.

Other Types of Breast Cancer

  • Recurrent Breast Cancer
    Breast cancer recurrence is generally more serious than a new breast cancer, as it indicates the cancer wasn’t knocked out by the initial treatment, and thus is inherently a “tougher” cancer.