NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Breast Cancer - page 12

12
NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Breast Cancer
Version 2.2011
Part 2: About my cancer
Invasive breast cancer
Invasive breast cancer is cancer that has spread from the ducts and lobules
into the breast tissue. In some cases, it has spread to lymph nodes in or near
the breast. There are many kinds of invasive breast cancer:
Invasive ductal carcinoma
. About 80% of invasive breast cancers are invasive
ductal carcinoma. This invasive cancer starts in the ducts but then spreads into
the fatty tissue of the breast (Figure 5). Once in the fatty tissue, the cancer can
spread to other parts of the body through lymph or blood vessels.
There are four special kinds of invasive ductal carcinoma:
Medullary cancer
accounts for about 5% of invasive breast cancers. The
tumor has a fairly well-defined edge separating it from normal breast tissue.
It also has immune cells at the edge of the tumor. Medullary cancer can be
hard to tell apart from the more common invasive ductal carcinoma. Most
breast cancer doctors believe that medullary cancer is very rare and should
be treated as invasive ductal carcinoma.
Tubular carcinoma
accounts for about 2% of invasive breast cancers.
Women with this kind of breast cancer have a better prognosis because
the cancer is less likely to spread outside the breast than common invasive
cancers of the same size.
Metaplastic tumors
are a very rare kind of invasive ductal carcinoma. These
tumors include cells that are normally not found in the breast, such as skin or
bone cells. These tumors are treated similarly to the common invasive ductal
carcinomas.
Colloid carcinoma
is also called mucinous carcinoma. It is another rare kind
of invasive ductal carcinoma. It is formed by mucus-producing cancer cells.
Colloid carcinoma has a better prognosis and a lower chance of metastasis
than common invasive cancers of the same size.
Figure 5. Invasive ductal carcinoma
Illustration Copyright © 2011 Nucleus Medical Media,
All rights reserved
Figure 6. Invasive lobular carcinoma
Illustration Copyright © 2011 Nucleus Medical Media,
All rights reserved
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