Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Learning that you are at risk or have breast cancer can feel overwhelming but when detected early, breast cancer can often be treated successfully.
Cancer is a disease of cells. Abnormal changes in the cell’s DNA can cause normal cells to become cancer cells. Cancer cells don’t behave like normal cells; they can grow rapidly and over time form a mass (primary tumor), they can grow into surrounding tissue, and they can leave the breast through the blood or lymph and form tumors in other parts of the body (metastasis). Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast. The disease occurs predominantly in women, but men can develop breast cancer as well.
The primary types of breast cancer are:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Invasive Ductal carcinoma (IDC)
- Invasive Lobular carcinoma (ILC)
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Paget’s disease of the breast