Breast Cancer Types & Tumors

There are different types of breast cancer and they originate in different parts of the breast.

The two main types are ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma.

Ductal Carcinoma

Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer.

Ductal carcinoma starts in cells which line the milk ducts (this area is also referred to as the lining of the breast ducts).

There are two forms of ductal carcinoma.

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) - cancer cells are in the lining of the breast ducts and are not spread to other tissues within the breast.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma – cancers cells within the lining of the breast ducts spread to other tissues within the breast. These invasive cells can also spread to other parts of the body.

Lobular carcinoma

Less common than ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma begins in the lobules or lobes of the breast. Lobules are glands are in the breast which make milk.

There are two forms of lobular carcinoma:

  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) - cancers cells are only found within the breast lobules and rarely spread to surrounding breast tissue.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma - characterized by invasive cancer cells can which spread from the lobules to surrounding breast tissue and to other parts of the body. Lobular carcinoma is more likely to be found in both breasts compared to other forms of breast cancer.

Less common types of breast cancer include inflammatory breast cancer and Paget's disease.

Types Of Tumor

Tumors can be classed as benign or malignant.

Benign Tumors

Benign tumors are not cancerous.

Benign tumors do not grow in an aggressive manner, nor do they invade surrounding body tissue. Benign tumors do not spread from one organ or body part to another (this process is known as metastasis).

See also advanced symptoms of breast cancer.

Malignant Tumors

By contrast, malignant tumors grow in an aggressive manner, they can invade surrounding body tissue and they can metastasize & spread from one organ or body part to another. Malignant tumors can affect the functions of the area they invade.