There are two main types of breast cancer: invasive and noninvasive. While noninvasive breast cancer (also referred to as pre-cancer, in situ breast cancer or carcinoma) remains inside the breast (affecting only the milk lobules and ducts) without affecting the normal tissues outside it, invasive breast cancer (also called as infiltrating breast cancer) tends to affect both the breast and the region around it.
Invasive breast cancer happens to be one of the most diseases among adult women. It is also considered to be one of the most common types of breast cancer that can in certain cases, spread to other parts of the body via the tissues and lymph nodes present both inside and outside the breast. Invasive breast cancer can also infiltrate the bloodstream and quickly spread to other parts of the body the same way.
Different Types of Invasive Breast Cancer
It is considered imperative to learn about the different types of invasive breast cancer. For the specific treatment chosen for the condition would depend on its type above all other factors and concerns. Invasive Breast Cancer can be classified into the following main categories.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Usually detected by an ultrasound or mammogram, Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a form of invasive breast cancer that is extremely aggressive in its advancement. This form of invasive breast cancer can easily (and quickly) spread to the lymph system and skin from the milk ducts where it originates. Symptoms of IBC would usually include breast lumps, breast pain and skin discoloration in the affected area.
Considered to be the most common form of breast cancer in women, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) usually originates in the milk ducts in the breasts and then spreads to the tissues inside the outside them. Common variants of IDC include Medullary Carcinoma (cancerous tissues resemble the brain tissue), Metaplastic Breast Cancer (occurs rarely, has an indecisive prognosis and needs aggressive treatment), Tubular Carcinoma (rare form of invasive breast cancer that has a microscopic appearance and a good prognosis), Papillary Carcinoma (a type of in situ ductal carcinoma that is rare and in most cases is non invasive), Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (starts out as non invasive breast cancer in the breast lobes or glands and turns invasive when it infiltrates the breast tissues and other fatty tissues near the lobes and glands) and Paget’s Disease of the Nipple (originates beneath the nipple area and signifies the presence of cancerous cells beneath the skin).
Risk Factors associated with Invasive Breast Cancer
Studies have noted that most cases of breast cancer are invasive in nature. And there is not a definite set of reasons for a woman to get invasive breast cancer. However, the condition is more prone to occur in women who are subjected to certain risk factors.
Accordingly, the risk factors associated with invasive breast cancer include gender (the condition is prevalent in women), age (the chances of getting invasive breast cancer increases with age and is more prominent in women over 50 years of age), race (American women are more prone to the disease than Asian or Hispanic women), family history (recorded history of other women in the family having breast cancer), obesity (particularly after menopause when the buildup of fat tissue around the body can lead to a rise in estrogen levels which in turn could cause breast cancer), high breast tissue density (less glandular tissue and more fatty tissue in the breast could contribute to invasive breast cancer later on), late pregnancy (including infertility issues that forces a woman to conceive after 35 years of age) and genetic mutations (like BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, CHEK2, CDH1, p53 and PTEN) etc.
Common Symptoms associated with Invasive Breast Cancer in women
The best way to spot invasive breast cancer would be via ultrasounds and mammograms. However, there are certain symptoms that can indicate the presence of cancerous cells beneath the skin surface in and around the breast.
The most common symptoms of invasive breast cancer in women include the presence of lumps or a mass in and around the breast region, the presence of lumps in the lymph nodes in the underarm region, swelling or inflammation in and around the breast region (if there are no lumps), swelling or inflammation of the lymph nodes present in the underarm region, breast pain, nipple discharge, nipple retraction (the nipple turns inwards), nipple pain, skin discoloration in and around the breast and underarm region (the skin turns red and scaly) and skin irritation in and around the breast and underarm region.
Treatment Options for Invasive Breast Cancer
Invasive Breast Cancer can be treated in several ways. The different treatment plans for the disease fall either under two categories, local and systematic.
For invasive breast cancer focus on removing the tumor present in the breast and eradicating/controlling the rest of the cancer cells (present in and around the breast region). Local treatment plans used for invasive breast cancer include radiation therapy and surgery.
For invasive breast cancer focus on removing the cancerous growth from the breast and then eradicating/controlling the remaining cancerous cells, including the ones that have spread to other parts of the body via the lymph nodes. Systematic treatment plans used for invasive breast cancer include hormone therapy, chemotherapy and biologic therapy.
Choosing the Correct Treatment Plan for Invasive Breast Cancer
The right choice of treatment for invasive breast cancer would depend on a few factors and constraints. These include factors like the tumor size, the location of the growth inside the breast, the stage of the cancerous growth and the nature of the cancerous growth in the breast (malignant or benign). The treatment plan would also differ for different women based on individual body conditions and constraints like age, general health condition, existing medical anomalies, menopausal stage and personal preferences.
In most cases, a specific treatment plan would be concluded after taking all these pointers into careful consideration. It is also customary for doctors to combine one or more treatment plans to get a better prognosis.
Clinical Trial Treatments for Invasive Breast Cancer
In certain cases, a woman with invasive breast cancer may choose to sign up for a clinical trial treatment that would enable doctors to choose between treatment options that are either standard and are being used currently or relatively new treatment plans that promise better results without much clinical evidence to support their claims. A woman with invasive breast cancer may choose to sign up for a clinical trial if she is unhappy with the current course of treatment or is not comfortable with the treatment options recommended for her.
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