About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer happens when cells abnormally divide and multiply in the breast tissue. This condition starts in various areas of the breast and may spread to other parts of the body. Our care team will help you understand your particular type and stage of breast cancer, and build a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Types of Breast Cancer

Our experts use the latest tools and techniques to give each patient a precise diagnosis. This includes identifying what type of breast cancer a patient has, and determining if it's invasive or non-invasive.

Non-invasive Breast Cancer

Non-invasive breast cancer means patients have cancerous cells in their breast tissue, but it has not spread to other parts of the body. Common non-invasive breast cancers include:

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), cancer in the breast ducts that has not spread to other parts of the body
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which is not a true cancer, but a marker of increased risk of developing breast cancer later. We encourage women with LCIS to have a physical exam once or twice a year, along with a yearly mammogram.

Invasive Breast Cancer

If breast cancer is invasive, it has likely to spread to other parts of the body. Invasive breast cancers usually fall into the following categories:

  • Ductal carcinoma, cancer that begins in the milk ducts. This is the most common form of breast cancer.
  • Lobular carcinoma, a less common cancer that starts in the milk-producing glands, also called the lobules.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer, a rare cancer where tumors start in the skin surrounding the breast.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Usually, the earliest stages of breast cancer do not cause pain. In fact, when breast cancer first develops, there may be no symptoms at all.

A lump or thickening in the breast or under the arm is one of the most common signs of breast cancer. To detect breast cancer, watch for the following:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
  • Clear or bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Inverted nipple
  • A change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast, areola or nipple (dimpled, puckered or scaly)
  • A change in the size or shape of the breastgnosis
  • A change in the normal balance of your breasts, such as swelling or one being higher than the other

If you have a breast lump or notice any of these other changes, see a provider who is experienced in breast examination right away.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

One in eight women will develop breast cancer, but there are certain factors that may put you at a greater risk of developing breast cancer.

Preventing Breast Cancer

There is nothing you can do to eliminate your risk of breast cancer, but there are things you can do to try to prevent developing breast cancer.