Breast Cancer Overview
Breast cancer most often begins in the cells that line the ducts, or nipples, but can begin in any of the breast tissues. The primary way that breast cancer spreads is through the lymphatic vessels of the breast, often growing into the lymph nodes.
It is not uncommon to feel bumps in the breast tissue or lymph nodes – most lumps are not cancerous and are simply benign, fluid-filled cysts. However, regular mammograms are recommended to ensure overall breast health.
In the event that you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is helpful to understand the different types. The most common types of breast cancer include:
- Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) – the most common type of breast cancer, IDC breaks through the wall of the duct and invades surrounding breast tissue, possibly metastasizing into lymph nodes
- Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) – this cancer begins in the cells that line the lobules, or milk glands, of the breast and grows through the glands, possibly metastasizing into lymph nodes
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – sometimes called a “pre-cancer,” these types of abnormal cells begin in the duct tissue without invading other areas of the breast
Learn more about breast health services at BayCare.