Women in the U.S. have a 1 in 8 chance of developing an invasive form of breast cancer during their lifetime. When breast cancer is invasive, it starts in the breast ducts or glands but grows into breast tissue. It can then spread into the nearby lymph nodes and beyond.
There are effective treatments. Your own treatment will depend on what type you have and how much and where your cancer has spread. You’ll work together with your doctor to come up with a plan that's best for you.
By Fran SmithWhy even smart doctors miss breast cancer - and how to make sure you're getting the best care.
No matter what you know about other diseases, breast cancer is probably the one that scares you most. It is frightening, striking nearly 182,000 women this year and plunging them into a world of complicated, arduous treatment. So it's heartening to know that more women are being diagnosed early, when the odds of beating the cancer are as high as 98 percent. Prevention and treatment are becoming...
Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). This is the most common type, making up about 80%. With IDC, cancer cells start in a milk duct, break through the walls, and invade breast tissue. It can remain localized, which means it stays near the site where the tumor started. Or cancer cells may spread anywhere in the body.
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). This type accounts for about 10% of invasive breast cancers. ILC starts in the lobules or milk glands and then spreads. With ILC, most women feel a thickening instead of a lump in their breast.
Some women may have a combination of both.
What are the signs of invasive breast cancer?
Breast cancer may have no signs or symptoms, especially during the early stages. As the cancer grows, you may notice one or more of the following:
A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that continues after your monthly menstrual cycle
A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea
A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast