Types of Breast Cancer

Non-invasive Breast Cancer
When abnormal cells grow inside the milk ducts, but have not spread to nearby tissue or beyond, this is called ductal carcinoma in situ (DUK-tul kar-sin-O-ma in SY-too or DCIS). The term “in situ” means “in place.” With DCIS, the abnormal cells are still inside the ducts. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer (you may also hear the term “pre-invasive breast carcinoma”).

Although DCIS is non-invasive, without treatment, it can develop into invasive breast cancer.

Invasive Breast Cancer
Invasive breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells from inside the milk ducts or lobules break out into nearby breast tissue. Cancer cells can travel from the breast to other parts of the body through the blood stream or the lymphatic system. They may travel early in the process when a tumor is small or later when a tumor is large. The lymph nodes in the underarm area (axillary lymph nodes) are the first place breast cancer is likely to spread. Learn more

Stage IV or Metastatic Breast Cancer
Stage IV breast cancer (also known advanced breast cancer) has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain.

Although metastatic breast cancer has spread to another part of the body, it is considered and treated as breast cancer. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is still breast cancer (not bone cancer) and is treated with breast cancer drugs, rather than treatments for a cancer that began in the bones. Learn more

Other Forms of Breast Cancer
Though they are not specific types of tumors, there are some special forms of breast cancer. These include inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), Paget disease of the breast or nipple, and metaplastic breast cancer. Learn more

Breast Cancer in Men
In the U.S., about 1 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men. Although survival rates rates for men are about the same as for women with the same stage of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis, men are often diagnosed at a later stage of breast cancer. Men may be less likely than women to report symptoms, which may lead to delays in diagnosis. Learn more

The Susan G. Komen® national website, www.komen.org, offers comprehensive information about breast cancer risk factors, early detection and screening, diagnosis and treatment. Developed in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health, the site offers a one-stop resource for all the latest information on the disease.

If you or someone you know are in need of local resources, please contact us at 860.321.7806 or at info@KomenNewEngland.org.