Breast cancer, no doubt presents a scary picture and women suffering from this disease have to go through a traumatic phase throughout their life even if they manage to fight back. The good news is that the situation is not that hopeless as it was twenty years back.
Thanks to the technologically advanced treatment facilities that have helped millions of women in timely detection of the disease leading to the right mode of treatment. About 200, 000 US citizens are diagnosed with different types of breast cancer annually, but the survival rates are also promising with the latest modes of treatment.
How to Identify The 6 Types Of Breast Cancer
Scientists have categorized breast cancer into six types based on the nature of cells, pattern of cell division and its prominent features and the protein content of the cells. This categorization has helped the oncologists in prognosis and selection of the right mode of treatment ultimately resulting higher survival rates. Breast cancer can be invasive and non –invasive, and naturally the latter has a higher rate of survival.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), one of the aggressive types of breast cancer, is of rare occurrence. Women experience heaviness in the breasts followed by redness and inflammation of the breast skin. The skin may resemble an orange peel. There may be an overall swelling of the breast or the swelling may occur in some part of the breast. The nipple gets distorted and may turn inward. There may be a swelling of the lymph nodes in the underarm and collarbone area.
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
This is one of the commonly observed non-invasive types of breast cancerarising from the milk ducts, but does not spread to any of the surrounding breast tissues. Breast lumps can form due to DCIS. Sometimes a discharge from the nipple may also indicate DCIS. But most of the DCIS cases do not show any significant signs and symptoms and can be only detected through mammography.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) accounts for about 80% breast cancer cases in which the cancer does not remain localized within the milk ducts, but spreads to the surrounding tissues and glands in the breast. IDC can be identified by localized or overall swelling of the breast accompanied by pain, dimpling of the breast, distorted nipples, discharge from the nipples, any lump in the underarm area, redness and scaling of the breast skin and nipple.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) originates in the milk producing lobules and gradually opens up into the milk producing ducts and invades other surrounding tissues of the breast. In this case, thickening or hardening of the breast is generally observed instead of breast lumps. Other identifying features of ILC include swelling of the breast followed by pain, dimpling of the breast and discharge from the nipple, scaling of the breast skin or a lump formation in the underarm area.
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCS)
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ cannot be truly assigned as breast cancer, but definitely this poses a high risk of breast cancer in the future. Abnormal cell growth is observed in the breast lobules, but the growth remains localized. LCIS cannot be detected by self examination as there are no lumps or any other changes in the breast. Often an abnormal mammogram or biopsy report confirms LCS.
Uncommon types of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
Tubular carcinoma, Medullary carcinoma, Papillary carcinoma, Mucinous carcinoma and Cribriform carcinoma are uncommon types of IDC that exhibit somewhat different pattern of cell growth than in the commonly observed IDC. These rare types of IDC may or may not exhibit significant symptoms in many cases. The symptoms, if observed are more or less similar like other types of breast cancer.
Regular self examination of breasts will help you in timely detection of any type of breast cancer, but that can be confirmed only through mammogram or biopsy. Since different types of breast cancers show more or less similar symptoms, only experts can identify the type of breast cancer. Do not rely on self diagnosis, but report to your doctor immediately if you observe any change in your breasts.