Invasive breast cancer refers to a breast tumor that has spread from the initial site to nearby breast tissue. Sometimes it’s called infiltrating breast cancer because the tumor has grown into lymph nodes and distant body sites. There are two types of invasive breast cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.
Both types of invasive breast cancer require a high level of care for the most effective cure. Experienced oncologists at Dignity Health North State are experts at diagnosing and treating invasive breast cancer in Northern California. To locate a cancer treatment center near you, use our online Find a Doctor tool.
Types of Invasive Breast Cancer
Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. IDC begins in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple and spreads to other areas of the breast and body as it advances.
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) initially develops in the sacs or lobules that produce milk. Over time, the tumor spreads outside the lobules. It is the second most common form of breast cancer.
The symptoms for both types of invasive breast cancer are generally the same. With invasive lobular carcinoma, you may notice hardening or thickening of your skin rather than a distinctive lump. Any unusual changes in the size, shape, or appearance of your breast or nipple should be reported to your doctor.
Other early warning signs to watch for are:
- Swelling of part of all of the breast
- An inverted nipple
- Nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk
- Changes in the appearance, shape, or size of the breast or nipple
Diagnosing Invasive Ductal Carcinoma at Dignity Health North State
Diagnosing invasive breast cancer is a thorough process. Your doctor will first evaluate your symptoms and then recommend a mammogram to get an inside look of your breasts. Suspicious areas that appear on your mammogram will be collected and tested through a biopsy.
Biopsy results will reveal unique characteristics of the tumor that help your doctor choose quality, personalized treatment. When you need cancer care that’s rooted in healing and humankindness, turn to cancer experts at Dignity Health North State.