Okay, so you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Take a minute, compose yourself. It may feel like your world has turned upside down and you have no control over the situation. But you do – remember, knowledge is power. If you’re awaiting on a prognosis from your doctor, or just want to understand more about the different types of breast cancers without the medical mumbo-jumbo, this article is for you.
There’s many different types of breast cancer, some more serious than others.
These cancers are non-invasive because they haven’t spread and are not life-threatening. There is, however, a risk the cancer may develop into an invasive breast cancer later in life.
Basically, as hinted in the name, this type of breast cancer starts in the breast’s milk ducts.
Again, noted in the name, this cancer grows in lobules (milk-producing glands at the end of breast ducts).
Invasive means the cancer has spread to the surrounding breast tissues.
This type of cancer is generally contained within the breast but may have spread to lymph nodes in the breast or armpit.
A rare form of invasive breast cancer where cancer cells grow in the nipple and the area around the nipple (areola).
This rare and aggressive cancer affects the blood vessels in the skin. Rather than presenting as a lump, the breast becomes red and inflamed.
This cancer is either large or has spread beyond the breast to other areas. Telltale signs are if the lump is larger than five centimetres, the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or has spread to other tissues around the breast, such as skin or muscle.
Also known as advanced, secondary or Stage 4 breast cancer, this is another form of an invasive breast cancer which has spread from the breast to other parts of the body.
For more information, visit canceraustralia.gov.au.