Types Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer most commonly arises from the ductal epithelium, hence we come across the term “Ductal carcinoma”.


In the initial stages of the disease, we find non- invasive or in-situ cancers. (In-situ: it means that the cancer cells have not crossed the protective basement membrane and hence do not spread outside the breast to other organs).

These may be:

Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
Lobular Carcinoma in situ (LCIS)


However, as the disease progresses, we come across invasive/ infiltrating cancers.

Depending on the site of origin, breast cancer may be:

Ductal: Invasive/ Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
Lobular: Invasive/ Infiltrating Lobular Ca (ILC)
Tubular: Invasive Tubular Ca
Papillary: Invasive Papillary Ca
Mucinous: Invasive Mucinous Ca
Medullary: Invasive Medullary Ca
Adenoid Cystic Ca: uncommon.

In the invasive/ infiltrative types, cancer can spread from the breast to the armpit (axillary lymph node spread), as well as to other organs, where it is termed as metastasis. Metastases can occur to the lungs, liver, bone and uncommonly to the brain.

Male Breast Cancers:

These are classified on the same lines as those occurring in women.

Treatment options are also the same.

Some uncommon breast cancers:

 Paget’s disease of the breast /nipple:

This is uncommon cancer arising in the nipple, often presenting as an eczematous lesion of the nipple.  Paget’s disease may or may not present with an underlying invasive ductal carcinoma. In the past, the treatment for this condition was similar to that of other breast cancers, but in recent years, breast-conserving surgeries have been increasingly carried out successfully.

Phylloide’s tumor: (Cystosarcoma phylloide’s)

This is an uncommon tumor which often presents as a large lump. Depending upon the pathology, it is further classified as:

All phylloide’s tumors require a complete excision with documented clear margins of resection.
However, a malignant phylloide’s may also require the addition of radiation therapy as an adjuvant treatment.