Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Breast Cancer Overview

Breast Cancer Overview

What is cancer?

The body is made up of various kinds of cells, which normally divide in an orderly way to produce more cells only when they are needed. Cancer is a group of diseases--more than 100 types--that occur when cells become abnormal and divide without control or order.

What is a tumor?

When cells divide when new cells are not needed, too much tissue is formed. This mass of extra tissue, called a tumor, can be benign or malignant.

What are the different types of breast cancer?

There are several types of breast cancer, including:

When breast cancer metastasizes, or spreads outside the breast, cancer cells are often found in the lymph nodes under the arm. If the cancer has reached these nodes, it may mean that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer that spreads is the same disease and has the same name as the original, or primary cancer. When breast cancer spreads, it is called metastatic breast cancer, even though the secondary tumor is in another organ. This may also be called distant disease.

Types of breast cancer, in alphabetical order, are:

Adenocarcinoma (adenocystic carcinoma)

Angiocarcinoma

Angiosarcoma

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC)

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC)

Inflammatory breast cancer

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) (also called lobular neoplasia)

Medullary carcinoma

Metaplastic carcinoma

Mixed tumors

Mucinous carcinoma

Paget's disease of the nipple

Papillary carcinoma

Phyllodes tumor (also spelled phylloides)

Triple-negative breast cancer

Tubular carcinoma

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Online Resources of Breast Health

 

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