Non-invasive breast cancers
Non-invasive breast cancers are cancers that are contained within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. They have not grown into, or invaded, the normal breast tissue. Non-invasive cancers are called carcinoma in situ and are sometimes referred to as pre-cancers.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer. It starts in the milk ducts of the breast and is non-invasive because it hasn't spread into any surrounding breast tissue. DCIS isn't life-threatening, but having DCIS can increase the risk of developing an invasive breast cancer later in life. Read more about DCIS
Lobular carcinoma in situ
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is non-invasive breast cancer that grows in the lobules (the milk-producing glands at the end of breast ducts). It is non-invasive as it has not spread into any surrounding breast tissue. LCIS isn't life-threatening, but having LCIS can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer later on in life.
Invasive breast cancers
Invasive cancers are cancers that are growing in the normal, healthy breast tissue.
Early breast cancer
Early breast cancer is cancer that is contained within the breast. It may also have spread to lymph nodes in the breast or armpit.
Paget's disease of the nipple
Paget's disease of the nipple is a rare form of invasive breast cancer in which cancer cells grow in the nipple or the areola (the area around the nipple). The nipple and areola often become scaly, red, itchy, and irritated.
Inflammatory breast cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive form of invasive breast cancer that affects the blood vessels in the skin of the breast. It usually starts with the breast becoming red and inflamed, rather than with a lump.
As it is so rare, there is only limited information available. We recommend you download or order a copy of the information about inflammatory breast cancer booklet produced by Cancer Australia. This five page booklet outlines the signs and symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, how it is diagnosed and the treatment options available.
The USA breastcancer.org website also has a range of very clearly explained information about inflammatory breast cancer. This is an American website and please keep in mind not all information may be relevant to inflammatory breast cancer in Australia.
If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer you may like to join the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Group within BCNA's online network.
Locally advanced breast cancer is an invasive breast cancer that is large or has spread beyond the breast to other nearby areas. Locally advanced breast cancer usually has a combination of some or all of the following features:
- larger than 5 centimetres
- spread to other tissues around the breast such as the skin, chest wall or muscle
- spread extensively to lymph nodes.