Breast Cancer - Stages and Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer refers to a disease in which the breast cells, in either or both breasts, grow in an unchecked manner. This rapid division of cells results in a breast cancer tumor.

Breast carcinoma can initiate in three parts: the lobules or glands producing milk, the ducts or tubes, which assist in delivering milk to the nipples, and the connective tissues surrounding the ducts and lobules.

What Is Breast Cancer?

As the name suggests, this carcinoma starts in the breast tissue and can easily invade the tissues surrounding the breasts. In addition, cancer can spread to other parts of the body, forming new tumors. This spreading of tumors to other body parts is called metastasis.

The common symptoms of cancer of the breast include breast lumps, a change in breast size, and changes in the breast skin.

How Common is Breast Cancer?

As far as its prevalence is concerned, breast carcinoma is counted among the most common cancers across the globe. In India, it is the top most common cancer among women.

Although rare, men can also develop this type of cancer.

Where does Breast Cancer Start?

Cancer can start in different parts of the breast, and as per the location of the tumor, the types of breast cancer are classified.

The different parts of the breasts where cancer can start are the lobules, ducts, nipple, stroma, blood vessels, and lymph vessels.

What are the Different Types of Breast Cancer?

The two broadly available types of breast cancer include invasive breast cancer and non-invasive breast cancer. The specific location of these cancers and their ability to spread are primarily used to categorize the following different types of breast cancer.

Infiltrating (invasive) Ductal Carcinoma

Infiltrating (invasive) ductal carcinoma is one of the most common types of breast cancer, where abnormal cancerous cells initiate in the breast's milk ducts and invade the surrounding tissues. With time, this invasive breast carcinoma may spread to the lymph nodes or bloodstream. Also, infiltrating ductal carcinoma is one of the types of breast cancer that commonly affects men.

Rare Types of IDC Breast Cancer

There are some rare types of invasive ductal carcinoma, which include:

Other Types:

What are the Breast Cancer Stages?

The breast cancer stages are classified according to aspects such as the location and size of the tumor, the extent of cancer spread in the body, the tumor grades, and the presence or absence of specific biomarkers.


Being diagnosed with breast carcinoma can cause immense distress for patients. However, it is important to be aware of the different risk factors that are associated with breast cancer and the early symptoms of this disease. This helps in the early detection and timely treatment of this disease.

Early detection and timely intervention play a pivotal role in successfully managing breast carcinoma. Therefore, it is important for women to be mindful of the different breast cancer symptoms and see a doctor when they come across something alarming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Stage 2 breast carcinoma survival rates are quite high with an effective course of treatment that may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. However, the success rates also depend on factors such as your complete health, age, and certain cancer characteristics.

Invasive ductal carcinoma is considered to be the most common type of breast carcinoma.

Breast tumors spread and grow at different speeds based on aspects such as age, grade of the tumor, cancer type, and genetic mutations.

It is important for women to be aware of the risk factors that can increase breast tumor risk and the early symptoms that are associated with this condition. This helps in catching breast cancer in its early stages and receiving the appropriate treatment.

It is possible to treat carcinoma of the breast successfully, provided it is detected in its early stages. Thanks to significant advancements made in the field of breast cancer management, it is possible to manage even advanced-stage cancers and prolong survival for patients.

Breast carcinoma survival rates are regulated by a myriad of factors, such as the disease stage, the exact location of the tumor, the age of the patient, the treatments administered, and the treatment response shown by the patient.

Though this type of cancer is mostly common among women, it can also affect men. However, the prevalence is extremely low.

Firstly, it is important to know that not all breast lumps are cancerous.

Throughout their normal menstrual cycles, women experience changes in their breast tissue. It is normal for both breasts to feel sore, tender, or swollen during their menstrual cycle. However, this discomfort should not be persistent.

A cancerous lump may feel like a hard or firm lump (nodule). It is usually irregular in shape, and it may also feel like it is attached to the tissue deep inside the breast so that it cannot be moved without moving the breast tissues.

There are two common ways to check the breasts for lumps. The first one is the monthly self-breast examination, and the second one is the annual mammography. Both of these methods are helpful in detecting abnormal growths in their early stages.

Yes, hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Apart from this, HRT may also lead to delayed diagnosis by creating dense tissues in the breasts and thereby reducing the efficacy of mammography. Therefore, women need to opt for safer alternatives to manage their postmenopausal symptoms.