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Type of Breast Cancer Based on The Origin and The Stage

Breast cancer is increasingly common, especially in women. It happens because the cells grow in an abnormal pattern. Once a patient is diagnosed with the disease, there is no choice but get a treatment. The treatment required by the patients depends upon many factors, including the stage and type of breast cancer.  Type of the cancer is determined by the cells affected by the cancerous process. In most cases, breast cancers are carcinomas, namely, tumors that begin from the cells in the epithelium and then grow in an uncontrollable way.

Type of Breast Cancer Based on The Site of Origin

The site, in which the carcinomas begin, determine the type of breast cancer. For instance, when they begin in the ducts, the carcinomas are called ductal carcinoma but when they form in the lobules, the carcinomas are called lobular carcinoma. Therefore, there are two types of breast cancer based on the site of origin:

Ductal Carcinoma; This is the most common type of breast cancer, representing more than 85% of the cases. The ducts connect the areola and the nipple. This is actually a non-invasive breast cancer. Therefore, it can be treated by removing the cancerous cells in their site of origin. Breast-conserving surgery combined with radiation is mostly effective to treat the cancerous cells. However, when the cancer has grown into advanced stages, mastectomy and chemotherapy may be indicated.

Lobular carcinoma; Despite being lesser common compared to the ductal carcinoma, this type of breast cancer mostly interfere with the ability of the lobes to produce milk. If let untreated, the cancer may spread to surrounding tissues.

Type of Breast Cancer Based on The Stage

Stage of the breast cancer is determined by the cancer size. Breast cancer is classified into 5 (five) stages, depending upon measurement of the tumor, as follows:

 Stage O; At this stage, the cancer is non-invasive. It means that the cancerous cells are still contained to their origin. They do not spread to the nearby tissues. 

 Stage I; The tumor is usually measured less than 2 cm. At this stage, the cancer is said to be in its initial phase of invasion. If untreated properly, it may grow into a more invasive condition.

 Stage II; The tumor is measured between 2 cm and 5 cm. It may or may not involve the lymph nodes. Stage II is also called the initial stage of invasion to other tissues.

Stage III; Size of the tumor is larger and the disease may affect the axillary lymph nodes. From stage III on, the cancer is said to be in invasive phase.

Stage IV; This is the advanced stage of breast cancer, in which there is a metastatic process of cancerous cells. This process may affect other organs like skin, ribs, lugs, bones, and so on.

Before initiating the treatment, the doctors determine the type of breast cancer first. Therefore, they can recommend the type of treatment, which the patient needs. Then, the patient and the family can make a decision on whether to follow the doctor’s recommendation or to consider another option of treatment.

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