- Breasts can change during a woman’s life, many can be normal, however, it is important to know how to differentiate them to prevent something more severe such as breast cancer.
- Breast cancer can begin to develop in different areas such as the ducts, lobules, and even in the intermediate tissues. There are different types of breast cancer such as invasive, non-invasive, recurrent, metastatic, etc., and can be present in both women and men.
Breast cancer is a very feared disease among the population, however, there are breast conditions that are common and which are not cancer.
Some of these can be:
- Clogged milk ducts.
Intraductal papillomas which are wart-like growths near the nipple.
- Fibrocystic changes of the breast: presence of nodules, thickening, and swelling that occur before the menstrual period.
- Milk production in women who are not breastfeeding.
- Cysts, which are fluid-filled lumps.
- Some medications.
- Hormone levels.
What are the types of breast cancer?
Non-invasive breast cancer:
Non-invasive tumors stay within the milk ducts of the breast lobules. These do not usually invade tissues inside or outside the breast, nor do they multiply in them. They are called carcinoma in situ which means in the same place or pre-cancer.
Invasive breast cancer:
These types of tumors are the most common and multiply affecting healthy tissues.
Sometimes invasive and non-invasive cancer occur at the same time. This means that some of the cancer has grown in healthy tissue and some has remained within the milk ducts or lobules. Doctors treat it as invasive cancer.
When more than one tumor is detected in the breast, it is determined as multifocal or multicentric. In this type of cancer, all tumors are generated in the original tumor and are usually found in the same breast area.
Less common types of breast cancer are:
Paget’s disease of the nipple
It starts in the breast ducts, spreads to the nipple, and then to the areola. It is a rare type and accounts for about 1% to 3% of all breast cancer cases.
It originates in the cells that line the blood or lymphatic vessels. It can affect the breast tissue or the skin, some are usually related to radiotherapy previously applied to that area.
This type of breast cancer is rare and originates in the connective tissue called the stroma.
Most of these tumors are benign, but there are also cancerous ones.
Symptoms for any type of breast cancer can include:
- Inverted nipples.
- Lumps or deformities.
- Skin changes.
- Redness or orange-peel skin.
- Change in size or appearance of the breast.
- Itching, peeling, or crusting.
When should I visit the doctor?
You must perform your self-examinations once a month if you still have your period or once a week if you are in menopause. This way you can get to know yourself and observe these types of changes to know if it is necessary to go to the doctor.
At ABC Medical Center’s Cancer Center, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!