Breast cancer is not just a single disease rather the cancer develops in different stages and rates. It is a type of cancer which has a potential to spread to different parts of our body damaging the whole body system. Treatments are often taken not to reduce it affect rather to reduce the risk of its occurrence. This problem can become dangerous and can also lead to the development of primary breast cancer in some cases.
What are the Different Types of Breast Cancer and the Organs They Attack:
Breast cancer can start from different areas such as ducts, lobules and in some extreme cases tissues in between such areas. Various breast cancer types are mentioned below.
1. Tubular Carcinoma Of The Breast:
This is the most common type of breast cancer that begins inside the breast milk duct and then slowly spreads beyond it into the healthy tissues. Tubular carcinomas are small in size and might be a tube shaped structure and hence called tubules. These types of breast cancer accounts for about 8 to 27 percent of all breast cancers. These days due to advanced technologies this type of breast cancer is being identified and treated easily before one realizes. Even studies have indicated that the average age of tubular carcinoma is around 50s. This type of cancer is very rare among men.
2. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ:
This is a non invasive or pre invasive cancer and is an early stage of breast cancer. In this type the abnormal cancer cells which has developed inside the milk glands or in the lining of the breast milk duct remain entirely in their place of origin or situ because the ability to spread has not yet developed. If DCIS is left untreated then it can become invasive and might spread into the surrounding breast tissues. Till now researcher have not identified the cases in which it will become invasive and in which it will not yet they believe that such cancers have a high chance of becoming invasive. It has been observed that one out of five cases found will turn out to be ductal carcinoma. A woman diagnosed in this stage usually gets cured.
3. Inflammatory Breast Cancer:
Inflammatory breast cancer is the fastest growing breast cancer types accounting for about 1 to 4 percent of all type of breast cancer. This cancer type got its name because the person suffering from it might experience red inflamed appearance of the breast skin and might even feel warm and tender when touched. The skin might even look like pitted skin of an orange peel. Other effects of this cancer include redness and swelling and blocking tiny channels in the breast tissue.
These tiny channels are called lymph channels. Average age of diagnosis is 52 to 57 depending up the quality of life. Studies have also indicated that overweight people are more likely to develop inflammatory breast cancer than any other form. Like any other breast cancer this can also affect men but not to the extent it does to women. The breasts which are affected become large in size and the area becomes very itchy.
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4. Mucinous Breast Cancer:
Mucinous which is also known as colloid is a types of breast cancer cells and is so called because it can be seen only with the help of microscope. It is very common feature that one might notice mucinous types of breast cancer cells with other types such as invasive ones while observation. About 2 percent of all breast cancers accounts for mucinous breast cancers.
5. Male Breast Cancer:
As we all know that breast cancer is not a woman disease rather a man can also face this cancer. Despite the fact that breast cancer is rare among men still it is expected to occur for about less than 1 percent of all breast cancer problems. Men do not need breast to get breast cancer. Every person whether a man or a woman have breast tissues. So sometimes even men develop real breast gland tissue sue to abnormal hormone levels or consumption of certain medicines.
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6. Lobular Carcinoma In Situ:
LCIS is an area of abnormal cell growth rate which increases the person’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Lobular basically means development of abnormal cells that start growing in the milk producing glands, lobules and at the end breast ducts. This is an in situ cancer which means it remains in the place where it develops say the lobule and does not spread to surrounding areas. People who are diagnosed with LCIS usually have more than one affected lobule.
Though the name suggests that it is a breast cancer rather carcinoma indicates that there is high chance of getting breast cancer at some point of time in future. LCIS is diagnosed before menopause usually between the age of 40 to 50. It has been seen that nearly 10 percent of women who have already gone for this diagnosis have undergone menopause. It is an uncommon condition and researchers do not know how many people are actually affected the reason being that it usually does not cause any symptom.
7. Breast Cancer During Pregnancy:
A pregnant woman might also experience breast cancer during this stage of her life. The reason for breast cancer is not pregnancy and one might get herself treated during this time. Treatment during this time causes additional strain and might be a reason of concern for the unborn child. It often becomes a traumatic and difficult situation for both child and mother.
Pregnant women must make sure to communicate properly with her obstetric surgeon and get medications accordingly. Number of treatment options are available these days to cure this types breast cancer. Extra care must be taken if you are suffering from breast cancer during this sensitive stage of your life.
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8. Paget Disease Of Nipple:
This type of cancer starts in the ducts of the breast and then spreads to the skin of nipples and finally to the areola, the dark areas around the nipple. It is rarely found and account for one percent of different types of breast cancer. This causes the skin of the nipple and areola to look scaly, red and crusted and often lead to bleeding. You might even experience itching or burning sensation during this time.
9. Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast:
Medullary Carcinoma is a rare form of breast cancer that represents only 5% of all breast cancer types. It is named Medullary, for the shape of the tissue growth represents the organ “Medulla Oblongata” in the brain. This type of cancer is generally found in a single breast and is less aggressive in growth, compared to the other cancer forms.
Medullary Carcinoma begins in the milk duct of the breast and gradually grows out of it. This cancer is usually known to affect women between the age group 40-50. As it doesn’t grow quickly, its spread to the lymph nodes doesn’t happen very soon. This is the reason why this type of cancer is easy to treat, compared to the other breast cancer types.
10. Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast:
Phyllodes tumors are those that grow in a leaf like patterns, called “Phyllodes”. These tumors are usually detected in women in 40’s, with a common symptom of a lump in the breast. Phyllode tumors are mostly benign and rarely turn malignant. Hence, they are suitable for surgical removal.
Phyllode tumors can be detected at a very early stage and hence treatment can be offered quickly before it spreads. The growth usually ranges from 2-3cm in size, but in advanced stages, can grow bigger than 5cm. There are also chances for Phyllodes to blowup the veins under the skin and hence one may observe blue color underneath the skin.
11. Metastatic Breast Cancer:
Metastatic Cancer is the advanced stage of cancer, in which the cancer has spread to all the main organs of the body like liver, brain, lungs, kidneys etc. This is called the Stage 4 of Cancer and is invasive in nature. The tumor cells destroy healthy cells and spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream. They migrate to a new location and form small growths.
Metastatic Cancer is highly malignant and life threatening. It drastically reduces the lifespan of a person by affecting every cell and tissue in the body, one by one.
12. Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma:
This type of cancer is also called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, deriving its name from its invasive nature. The tumor cells in this type of cancer invade the surrounding cells and tissues to begin a new growth. This cancer begins in the milk ducts of the breast and rapidly spread within and beyond the breast.
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13. Molecular Subtypes Of Breast Cancer:
There are five sub types of breast cancer based on the genetic information expressed in the tumor cells:
- Luminal A
- Luminal B
- Triple Negative/Basal Like
- HER2 Type
These indicators are mainly used for research study and can no way be used to decide on the treatment.
Breast cancer has better survival rates if detected and treated early. Self-assessment and regular checkups are the best way to prevent cancerous cells from hijacking your life. While there are no specific causes for any type of cancer, following healthy diet with anti-oxidant rich food, cutting down alcohol and tobacco, encouraging breast feed etc. can prevent it to a certain extent. Self awareness is the best way to prevent this deadly disease.
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