About Breast Cancer

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Every year, more than 180,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer in women. Men also develop breast cancer but at a much smaller rate, about 2,200 a year.

The types and stages of breast cancer are the same for men and women, and the information throughout our website generally holds true for all. But because men face different issues, especially when it comes to awareness and detection of breast cancer, we have a dedicated section for men to raise awareness and answer their questions.  

Types of breast cancer

Breast cancer is a malignant, or cancerous, growth that develops when cells in the breast grow and divide in an uncontrolled fashion. Cancer can develop in the ducts, glands and other tissue in the breast.

Common types of breast cancer include but are not limited to:

Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

The most common type of breast cancer is infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It begins in the cells lining the milk ducts and then grows through the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. It also may spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.

Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

Infiltrating lobular carcinoma, another common form of breast cancer, begins in the lining of the lobules, or milk-producing glands, and can grow into surrounding breast tissue. It can also metastasize to other parts of the body.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

Ductal carcinoma in situ is a non-invasive breast cancer. Non-invasive means that the cancer cells are confined to the milk ducts.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

Lobular carcinoma in situ is a condition in which abnormal cells have started growing in the milk-producing glands. It is not considered a true cancer, but it is an indicator that a person has a higher risk of developing breast cancer in either breast in the future.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

Inflammatory breast cancer is a very aggressive form of breast cancer. The cancer cells block lymph vessels of the breast skin. As the cancer cells grow, the breast often looks swollen and red, or inflamed. The cancer also can metastasize to other parts of the body.

If you are newly diagnosed, call the Swedish Cancer Institute at 206-215-6400 for a consultation and to learn about treatment options.