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Types of Breast Cancer in NJ, CT, & MD

Breast cancer takes several different forms, which are defined by types and subtypes. At Regional Cancer Care Associates, our doctors provide cutting-edge, comprehensive, and compassionate care to patients with breast cancer in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area. Let our experts help you understand the type of breast cancer you have and outline an individualized treatment plan designed to provide you with the best outcomes and quality of life.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Breast cancer usually starts in either the ductal cells or lobular cells of the breast. These cells are either located in a milk duct or in the glands in the breast that produce milk, which are called lobules. For example, the term ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) describes cancerous cells found in the lining of the breast milk duct that are non-invasive, meaning they have not spread beyond their point of origin.  Meanwhile, the term lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) describes the presence of abnormal cells in the lobules of the breast, which at the time of diagnosis, have not spread outside the lobules of the breast. LCIS is not considered breast cancer, but its presence increases a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer. Without treatment, roughly 20% of women with LCIS will go on to develop breast cancer.

Invasive Types of Breast Cancer

When breast cancer has spread from its point of origin to surrounding tissues, it is termed invasive. There are several types of invasive breast cancer:
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma: This is a common type of invasive breast cancer, making up about 80% of diagnoses.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: This subtype of invasive ductal carcinoma occurs when cancer cells block lymph vessels, causing red skin and swelling. It accounts for 1% to 5% of all breast cancers.
  • Paget disease: This rare breast cancer spreads from the ducts to the skin of the nipple and areola. It typically occurs in patients who already have been diagnosed with DCIS or invasive ductal carcinoma.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma: This type represents about 10% of all invasive breast cancers.
  • Male invasive ductal carcinoma: Rarely occurring, this type makes up less than 1% of all breast cancers.
Different types of breast cancer also can metastasize, or spread to other areas of the body. Further, successfully treated breast cancer can recur months or even many years after initial treatment.

Other Types of Breast Cancer

There are a few breast cancers that are not classified as ductal or lobular. These include sarcomas, which start in mutated cells of connective tissue and are invasive. Sarcomas are found in muscles, blood vessels, fat, and other internal structures of the body. A type of breast cancer known as angiosarcoma begins in the lymph vessels and blood vessels of the breast.

Phyllodes tumor is a rare breast cancer tumor that is also found in the connective tissue of the breast. This may be caused by inherited conditions and usually affects women starting at age 40. Not all of these tumors are carcinoma, but treatment is always recommended.

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Self-examination and screening tests, such as mammography, are critical to the early detection and effective treatment of breast cancer.  Some of the most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Lumps that feel hard to the touch
  • Pain in the breast
  • Changes in appearance of the breast, including the nipple
  • Nipple discharge
  • Unexplained weight loss
Mother embraces adult daughter who is battling cancer

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

While any woman – or man – can develop breast cancer, several  factors can increase a woman’s risk for the disease. that. Physicians may recommend more frequent screenings based on the following:

  • Genetic predisposition or family history of breast cancer
  • Personal medical history, including age at first menstruation, lifestyle factors, dense breast tissue, and use of certain medications
  • Age (the median age for first-time breast cancer diagnosis is 62)

Breast Cancer Treatment Options

When breast cancer is diagnosed, the expert medical team at Regional Cancer Care Associates will determine the type and stage of the disease and use this information to work with the patient to implement an individualized treatment plan that draws on the latest evidence and therapies. Treatment options may include one or more of the following:

Consult with Breast Cancer Experts in NJ, CT, & MD

If you are seeking expert cancer care in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, or the Washington, D.C., area, consult with a medical oncologist at one of Regional Cancer Care Associates’ 20+ conveniently located, community-based care centers.  Find a nearby location or contact us to make an appointment to discuss treatment options.

Join RCCA in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Breast cancer patients can seek the most comprehensive, patient-centered care that the area has to offer at Regional Cancer Care Associates. Our network of highly experienced doctors works together to deliver the care and support you need for all aspects of your life. Call your local RCCA office to learn more about breast cancer or to schedule an appointment for a consultation today.

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