Cancer can happen to anyone. It is not bound by age, gender, or ethnic group. Even so, among women, breastcancer is the most common form of the disease.
Women in the U.S. have a one in eight chance of developing invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. And the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1 million women in the U.S. have breast cancer and don't know it.
WebMD senior writer Miranda Hitti interviewed breast cancer survivors as part of a series for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The series, called “Me & the Girls,” explores the personal stories of these women after they were diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer survivor Ilene Smith, MS, RD, 49, lives in the New York area. In late October 2007, Smith felt a lump in her left breast while on a conference call for work. "I got cold, and so I put my hand under my arm, and I felt the...
There are effective treatments for invasive breast cancer. It's important to recognize the signs of invasive breast cancer and to work closely with your doctor. Here's information you can use to help you have the best outcome with invasive breast cancer.
How does the anatomy of the breast relate to breast cancer?
The two most common types of invasive breast cancer include:
Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). With IDC, cancer cells start in a milk duct, break through the duct walls, and then invade fatty breast tissue. IDC can remain localized, which means it stays near the site where the tumor originated. Or the cancer cells may enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system and metastasize -- spread -- anywhere in the body. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of invasive breast cancer. It accounts for 80% of invasive cancers.
Infiltrating (invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC). This cancer accounts for about 10% to 15% of invasive breast cancers. ILC starts in the lobules or milk glands. It then spreads in a way similar to IDC. With ILC, most women feel a mass or thickening instead of a breast lump.
There are mixed types of IDC and ILC and other less common types of invasive breast cancer.