Invasive breast cancer is a tumor that’s grown from its initial site into nearby breast tissue. It can also spread to lymph nodes and other distant areas of the body. There are two types of invasive breast cancer. The first starts in the milk ducts, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). The other is invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), which starts in the breast lobules (milk producing sacs).
Noninvasive breast cancer remains at the site where it first started growing. This is stage 0 breast cancer, the earliest form of breast cancer. Cancer cells are growing, but have not spread anywhere else in the breast. Another name for these tumors is in situ, meaning the cells remain in place. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has not spread from the milk duct. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a precancerous grouping of cells in the milk sac that increase your risk for developing cancer later.
If you are facing invasive or noninvasive breast cancer in Arizona, rely on our team of expert oncologists at Dignity Health’s Cancer Center to provide specialized care with humankindness. We will be at your side every step of the way as you take this journey. Find a Doctor near you today or call (855) 970-2527.
Invasive & Noninvasive Breast Cancer: Who is at Risk?
The main risk factor for breast cancer is being female. Men rarely develop breast cancer.
Other risk factors include:
- Early menstruation (younger than 12)
- Late menopause (o)lder than 55
- Caucasian race
- Dense breast tissue
- Older age
- Family history of breast cancer
- Diethylstilbestrol exposure
- Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
- Previous chest radiation therapy
Symptoms of Invasive & Noninvasive Breast Cancer
Mammogram screenings usually find both invasive and noninvasive breast cancers before symptoms develop. If symptoms develop, they may include:
- Breast lump
- Change in size, shape, or appearance of the breast or nipple
- Thickening or hardening of the breast
- Skin changes on the breast or nipple
- Swelling of part or all of the breast
- Inverted nipple or nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk
Diagnosis of Invasive & Noninvasive Breast Cancer
For a suspicious mammogram or breast exam, your doctor will likely recommend a biopsy to take a sample of cells. In most cases, the sample will tell your doctor about the type and grade of cancer and whether or not the cancer cells are positive for the HER-2 and hormone receptor proteins. This information guides your treatment plan.
Treatment of Invasive & Noninvasive Breast Cancer
Treatment for DCIS and invasive breast cancer usually involves surgery. The type of surgery depends on the stage of the cancer. The options are lumpectomy and mastectomy. Lumpectomy removes the tumor and some surrounding tissue, and radiation therapy is usually necessary afterwards. Mastectomy removes the entire breast.
Other treatments include chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Hormone therapy slows tumor growth by either blocking receptors on the cancer cells or lowering the levels of hormones in the body.
Dignity Health provides specialized care throughout your treatment for invasive and noninvasive breast cancer in Arizona.