Different Types of Breast Cancer Prevention and Symptoms

Different Types of Breast Cancer: Prevention and Symptoms |UPMC Italy

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women, accounting for about one in three (30 percent) of all diagnoses (source: "The Numbers of Cancer in Italy 2020," Italian Ministry of Health). About 48,000 women in Italy face this disease each year. The average risk per woman of developing breast cancer, in the absence of special conditions such as genetic mutations, is 10-12%.

There are different types of breast cancer, each characterized by the origin of cancer cells and the potential for spread. Understanding these differences is crucial for early diagnosis and targeted treatment. Let's look at the main types.

Invasive and Non-Invasive Breast Cancer

Invasive breast cancer has the ability to spread (or metastasize) throughout the breast and other parts of the body. Non-invasive breast cancer (also known as carcinoma in situ) does not spread and is sometimes considered a precancerous condition.

Common Invasive Types

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma affects the inner lining of the milk ducts and is the most common type, accounting for about 80% of diagnoses in women and 90% in men.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma originates from the milk-producing glands, and symptoms often include a fullness and thickening of the breast rather than a lump.

Common Non-invasive Types

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer, it remains within the milk ducts and may precede invasive ductal carcinoma.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ is a non-invasive condition, but at high risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

Less Common Types

  • Paget's disease of the nipple starts in the nipple ducts and spreads to the surrounding skin, causing redness and irritation.
  • Inflammatory breast carcinoma is an aggressive type in which the breast swells and reddens, often mistaken for other, less serious breast diseases.
  • Angiosarcoma of the breast originates in the cells of blood or lymphatic vessels, sometimes after radiation treatments.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Symptoms can vary, but the most common is the presence of a lump or mass. Other symptoms include thickening of breast tissue, redness, changes in breast shape or size, skin folds, orange peel appearance, itching, breast pain, nipple retraction, or sudden loss of the nipple without pressure. Performing regular breast self-examinations is essential, and if suspected, consult a physician.

Prevention and Screening

Early detection is essential for effective treatment. Women are advised to perform monthly breast self-examinations, visit the doctor for annual checkups, and undergo an annual mammogram starting at age 40. This increases the chances of early detection of abnormalities.

Prevention is key: get informed and protect your health.

From 15 June to 15 September 2023, take advantage of the breast cancer prevention package designed for you at UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital.