Adenocarcinoma: Nearly all breast cancers start in the ducts or lobules of the breast. Because this is glandular tissue, they are called adenocarcinomas, a term applied to cancers of glandular tissue anywhere in the body. The 2 main types of breast adenocarcinomas are ductal carcinomas and lobular carcinomas.
Breast Carcinoma is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the breast. There are two types of Breast Carcinoma: Ductal Carcinoma and Lobular Carcinoma:
Breast Cancer Picture
The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.
The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Cancer that begins in the lobes or lobules is called lobular carcinoma and is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon type of breast cancer in which the breast is warm, red, and swollen.
Ductal carcinoma is the most common form of breast cancer. It develops in the ducts that carry the milk from the lobules (milk glands) to the nipple. Ductal carcinomas can be either in situ or invasive breast cancer.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
In ductal carcinoma in situ, cancer cells are present inside the milk ducts but they have not yet spread through the walls of the ducts into the fatty tissue of the breast. For this reason, nearly 100% of women diagnosed at an early stage can be cured. The best way to monitor and prevent getting ductal carcinoma in situ is with a yearly mammogram. Left unchecked, it may develop into invasive breast cancer.
Ductal Carcinoma Picture
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
Invasive ductal carcinoma accounts for nearly 80% of breast cancers. It also begins in a milk duct, but unlike ductal carcinoma in situ, it invades the fatty tissue of the breast. This invasive carcinoma has the potential to metastasize [meh-TAS-ti-size], or spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. It is important to detect and treat invasive ductal carcinoma before it has had time to metastasize and spread to other organs.
Lobular carcinoma is found in the milk-producing glands of the breast. It is far less common than ductal carcinoma, but it can present itself in both breasts more often than other types of breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma can be either in situ or invasive breast cancer.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
Technically, lobular carcinoma in situ is not even a cancer. Sometimes called lobular neoplasia [LOB-u-lar nee-o-play-zee-uh], it is classified as pre-cancerous growth that begins in the milk-producing glands. Lobular carcinoma in situ does not penetrate through the wall of the lobules, and most researchers believe it does not usually become an invasive breast cancer. However, women who develop lobular carcinoma in situ have a higher future risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the same or opposite breast. If you have been treated for an lobular carcinoma in situ, you will want to have a physical exam two or three times a year, in addition to an annual mammogram.
Lobular Carcinoma Picture
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
Similar to invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma has the potential to metastasize and spread to other parts of the body. It begins in the milk-producing glands, where it extends into the fatty tissue of the breast. About 10% to 15% of breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinomas. Invasive lobular carcinoma also can be more difficult to detect by mammogram than LCIS, making it important to have mammograms annually.