Breast cancer is a complex disease that affects millions of women worldwide. It is crucial to comprehend the different types of breast cancer and their unique characteristics to facilitate early detection, accurate diagnosis, and tailored treatment plans. The stage and grade of your breast cancer help doctors determine the best course of treatment for you. The cancer’s size and whether it has spread are determined by its stage. Grading refers to how abnormal cancer cells appear when viewed under a microscope. There is a significant rise in cancer treatment in India, but thanks to the various modern technology, patients can get the best of their treatment.
Understanding the various types of breast cancer, and exploring their distinct features and implications for patients is important to help them decide which would be the best Cancer hospitals in India to go to if and when needed. Let’s have a look –
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer that originates in the milk ducts. The term “in situ” refers to the cancer cells being confined to their original site and not having spread into surrounding tissues. DCIS is usually detected through mammography and is considered highly treatable. However, if left untreated, it can progress to invasive breast cancer.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
IDC is the most common type of breast cancer, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases. It originates in the milk ducts but has the potential to spread beyond the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. IDC may present as a lump or thickening in the breast, accompanied by changes in breast shape or skin texture. Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing IDC.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
LCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer that begins in the lobules, the milk-producing glands of the breast. Similar to DCIS, LCIS does not spread to surrounding tissues. It is often considered a marker for an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer later in life. Women diagnosed with LCIS require close monitoring and may choose to undergo preventive measures to reduce their risk.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
ILC originates in the lobules and has the potential to invade surrounding breast tissue. It accounts for approximately 10-15% of all breast cancers. Unlike IDC, ILC tends to form a thickening rather than a distinct lump, making it more challenging to detect through a physical examination or mammogram. It may also be bilateral, affecting both breasts. Treatment for ILC typically involves surgery, radiation, and sometimes hormone therapy.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)
TNBC is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer characterized by the absence of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). This type of breast cancer is more challenging to treat as it does not respond to hormonal therapy or medications targeting HER2. Chemotherapy is the primary treatment option for TNBC. Research is ongoing to identify more targeted therapies for this subtype.
HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
HER2-positive breast cancer accounts for approximately 20% of all breast cancers. It is characterized by the overexpression of the HER2 protein, which promotes cancer cell growth. HER2-positive breast cancer tends to be more aggressive, but targeted therapies such as trastuzumab (Herceptin) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) have significantly improved outcomes. Treatment may involve a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and HER2-targeted therapies.
Understanding the different types of breast cancer is crucial for both healthcare professionals and patients. Each subtype possesses unique characteristics that influence treatment options, prognosis, and overall management. Regular breast self-examinations, mammograms, and clinical screenings play a vital role in early detection and improved outcomes. By staying informed about breast cancer types and their characteristics, we can continue to make progress in the fight against this disease and provide better care for those affected.