Invasive breast cancer means the tumor cells have grown from its initial site into nearby breast tissue. It can also spread to lymph nodes and other distant areas of the body. Another name for this type of cancer is infiltrating breast cancer.
There are two types of invasive breast cancer. The first is invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which starts in the milk ducts. It is the most common form of breast cancer. The other is invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), which starts in the breast lobules. Breast lobules are sacs that produce milk. ILC is the second most common form of breast cancer.
The caring specialists at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute know a cancer diagnosis can be scary. That’s why we offer expert oncology services that are trusted throughout the region to give you the best options for recovery. If you have invasive breast cancer in Stockton or the surrounding areas, count on our professional team of doctors and nurse navigators to provide quality care every time. Find a Doctor today to learn more.
Diagnosing Invasive 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 the cancer cells are positive for the HER-2 and hormone receptor proteins. This information guides your treatment plan. Sometimes, all of this information is not available until your doctor removes the tumor during surgery.
Invasive Breast Cancer Symptoms
Mammogram screening finds many invasive breast cancers before symptoms develop. The most common symptom of IDC is a lump. ILC feels more like a thickening or hardening. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Skin changes on the breast or nipple
- Swelling of part or all of the breast
- Change in size, shape, or appearance of the breast or nipple
- Inverted nipple or nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk
Treating Invasive Breast Cancer at Dignity Health
Our treatment for invasive breast cancer usually involves surgery. Offering expertise in each option, your doctor will stage your tumor to determine the best surgery for you. Staging tells the doctor how far the cancer has spread.
A mastectomy removes the entire breast while a lumpectomy removes the tumor and some normal tissue surrounding it. Radiation therapy is usually necessary afterwards.
Our other state-of-the-art treatments include:
- Targeted therapy zooms in on markers (proteins) on the cancer cells to specifically destroy the right cells. These drugs are an option for hormone-receptor positive tumors or HER-2 positive tumors.
- Hormone therapy is used to treat hormone-receptor positive tumors. Hormone therapy either blocks receptors on the cancer cells or lowers the levels of hormones in the body to slow tumor growth.
- Chemotherapy kills cancer cells or stop them from growing
St. Joseph's Cancer Institute provides quality diagnosis and treatment to patients with invasive breast cancer in Stockton, CA and the surrounding areas.