Invasive breast cancer, or infiltrating breast cancer, has spread from where it started into nearby tissue. In later stages of breast cancer, this can include lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. It starts in the milk ducts. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) begins in the breast lobules and is the second most common type.
Dignity Health Southern California hospitals, with locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino, are committed to fulfilling the unique needs of each patient and their family. We offer world-class care, support, and guidance with the compassion and dignity you deserve.
If you’ve been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in Southern California, Find a Doctor at one of our area hospitals:
Invasive Breast Cancer Symptoms
The most common sign of invasive ductal carcinoma is a lump. Hardening or thickening of breast tissue are signs of invasive lobular carcinoma. However, most invasive breast cancers are found during mammograms before these symptoms develop.
Other symptoms may include:
- Skin changes on the breast or nipple
- Change in size, shape, or appearance of the breast or nipple
- Swelling of part or all of the breast
- Inverted nipple or nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk
The most effective way to prevent invasive breast cancer is an annual screening mammogram.
Diagnosing Invasive Breast Cancer at Dignity Health Southern California
If a breast exam or mammogram detects the presence of a tumor, your doctor will likely order a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy can determine the grade and type of cancer, as well as whether it’s hormone receptor positive or HER-2 positive. You doctor will also use the results of the biopsy to inform your treatment plan and decide if you need surgery.
Invasive Breast Cancer Treatment Options
Invasive breast cancer is usually treated with surgery. A lumpectomy removes the tumor and some surrounding tissue. A mastectomy removes the full breast. Radiation treatment is usually needed after lumpectomy.
Other breast cancer treatments include:
- Hormone therapy to slow the growth of hormone-receptor positive tumors. Hormone therapy either lowers the levels of hormones in the body or blocks hormone receptors on the cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy to selectively kill cancer cells using markers present on their surface. These treatments are an option for HER-2-positive tumors and hormone-receptor positive tumors.
- Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.
Dignity Health offers a variety of treatments for invasive breast cancer in Southern California.