Are there different types of breast cancer?

There are many different types of breast cancer.

In general, breast cancer is either noninvasive or invasive and originates in one of two parts of the breasts — the lobules or the milk ducts.

If the cancer is noninvasive, or in situ, that means the cancer is confined to one area. The two most common types of in situ breast cancer are Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) and Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS).

In situ cancers can develop into invasive, or more advanced forms, so it is important to treat these types of cancer immediately. Without the spreading of cancer cells, LCIS and DCIS have a 90 percent cure rate. Invasive breast cancer is cancer that has broken through the layer of breast tissue in which it originated. It can travel through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

The two most common types of invasive breast cancer are Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), which makes up about 80 percent of all breast cancers and originates in a milk duct in the breast, and Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC), which starts in the milk-producing glands.

There are also rare forms of breast cancer, including inflammatory breast cancer, Paget’s disease of the nipple, angiosarcoma and phyllodoes tumors of the breast. These less common types of cancer occur in different parts of the breast, such as blood vessels, lymph vessels and connective tissue, for example.

For more information, contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, at (225) 927-2273,, or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge.

ä Internet Resources:

National Cancer Institute – Breast Cancer

American Cancer Society – Breast Cancer

This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.