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Types of breast cancer

What are the different Types of Breast Cancer?

There are two main types of breast cancer: invasive and non-invasive (Table 1).

Type 1 - Invasive Breast Cancer

This cancer is more aggressive and has the ability to spread elsewhere in the body and thus cause death.

Type 2 - Non-invasive Breast Cancer

This type is confined to the ducts or lobules of the milk glands. It is a non-invasive cancer and does not usually spread to other parts of the body. However, it may develop into an invasive type if left untreated. The medical name for non-invasive breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) if it occurs in the milk gland ducts (tubes), or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) if it occurs in the gland lobules.

DetailsBreast Cancer Type
InvasiveNon-invasive
Behaviour Aggressive Not particularly aggressive
Spread Yes Not usually
Outcome Can cause death Much better prognosis

LCIS is not considered as cancer as such. The presence of this abnormality in a breast biopsy means the patient has an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk means that about 1 in 3 women with LCIS will develop breast cancer within 30 years of being diagnosed with the original condition.