Invasive breast cancer is a when a tumor spreads into nearby breast tissue, lymph nodes, or other areas of the body. Another name for the disease is infiltrating breast cancer.
There are two types of invasive breast cancer. Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in the milk ducts and is the most common form of breast cancer. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) starts in the breast lobules (sacs that produce milk) and is the second most common form of breast cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the Bay Area, you can Find a Doctor at a location near you. We offer a full range of cancer diagnostics and treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to treat breast cancer.
Invasive Breast Cancer Symptoms
Mammogram screenings often find invasive breast cancers before symptoms develop. A lump is the most common symptom of IDC. ILC causes a thickening or hardening of the breast tissue.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- Change in size, shape, or appearance of the nipple or breast
- Swelling of part or all of the breast
- Inverted nipple
- Nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk
- Skin changes on the nipple or breast
Diagnosing Invasive Breast Cancer
If your Dignity Health doctor suspects breast cancer, a biopsy will likely be recommended. This involves taking a sample of cells from the breast. Often, the biopsy can tell your doctor about the cancer’s type, grade, and hormone receptor status. The information will help your doctor develop your treatment plan. Sometimes, the information is not available until your doctor removes the tumor during surgery.
Invasive Breast Cancer Treatment
At Dignity Health, our cancer care team is dedicated to providing the latest cancer treatment options. In most cases, treatment for invasive breast cancer involves surgery. The extent of your surgery will depend on the stage of the cancer. Lumpectomy removes the tumor and some normal tissue surrounding it. Radiation therapy is usually necessary afterward. Mastectomy removes the entire breast.
Other treatments include:
- Chemotherapy kills cancer cells or stops them from growing.
- Targeted therapy identifies cancer cells and destroys them.
- Hormone therapy slows the growth of hormone-receptor positive tumors.
The most effective prevention for invasive breast cancer is having an annual screening mammogram. Schedule yours with a doctor at Dignity Health today.