Breast Cancer, Learn All About Cancer

The Different Types of Breast Cancer

Different types of breast cancer explained

In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act as an amendment to the Public Health Service Act of 1944. At that time, cancer became the nation’s second leading cause of death and Nixon described his new legislation as the “war on cancer” and committed 1.5 billion dollars into finding a cure. Today, we are unfortunately still in the same place as we were back in 1971 and cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. However, life expectancy for those with the disease have gradually increased with more technological advancements. This makes us constantly wonder:

“What is taking so long to cure cancer?”

“Why is this disease so complicated to figure out?”

“Will we ever find a cure?”

Sadly, cancer is a lot more complex than what people originally thought. Cancer is not a single disease; it’s a collection of multiple different diseases with various causes. It formulates within the cells of the body that are consistently multiplying through a process called cell division. Normally, cells that are old or damaged die off with a new cell taking their place. However, when an abnormal cell divides, it develops more abnormal cells, and eventually they form tumors that can either be malignant or benign.

Since everyone has active cells in their body, anybody is susceptible to cancer; even the healthiest individuals. Those with breast cancer have atypical cells forming or spreading within their breast tissue, however the location within the breast and the stage of the tumor can drastically affect the symptoms or treatments that one receives. There are many types of breast cancer that range from noninvasive to invasive tumors, and LifeWorks has the proper natural tools needed to tend to each type. Listed below are some of the most common types and their side effects.

Invasive Cancers:

An invasive cancer type means that the cancer is likely to spread from the original site and “invade” other parts of the body.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

IDC accounts for 80% of all breast cancers and is considered the most common type with the ability to spread to other breast tissues and lymph nodes. The tumor originates in the milk ducts (tubes that transfer milk to the nipple) and can metastasize, travel to other areas through the bloodstream and compromise the body. It can affect women of any age, however it is most common in those that are 55 and older. Some common symptoms of IDC include:

  • a breast lump
  • nipple discharge
  • pain in a specific area of the breast
  • thickening of breast skin
  • swelling in one breast
  • lumps in the underarm 

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

ILC originates within the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands of the breast. This type accounts for approximately 10% of cases and is known as the second most common type of breast cancer. In its early stages, ILC is very difficult to detect since it shows no early signs. As it reaches stages two and three, patients may begin to see one of their breasts become swollen, an inverted nipple, and skin changes of the breast.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

IBC is known as the rarest and most aggressive form of breast cancer. It accounts for only 5% of breast cancer cases and differs from that of both ductal and lobular carcinomas due to its aggression, symptoms, treatment and life expectancy. It has the ability to grow quickly and usually causes red swelling on the surface of the breast, which makes it seem like inflammation. For that reason, it is often misdiagnosed as a breast infection, but ironically the disease has no evidence of being caused by inflammatory properties. Instead, symptoms of swelling are induced by malignant cells blocking lymph vessels. It normally does not cause a breast lump, however if there is a mass inside the breast, patients will not be able to feel it. Since it’s difficult to detect in its early stages, this breast cancer type is usually not diagnosed until its advanced stages, resulting in a much lower prognosis compared to other breast cancers.           

Noninvasive Cancers:

The term “in situ” means to stay in one place. All cancer types ending in “in situ” symbolizes a noninvasive cancer that will likely remain in one location rather than spreading to other areas in the body.

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

DCIS is a very common noninvasive breast cancer that accounts for one out of five breast cancer cases. This type of cancer forms within the milk duct of the breast and is considered the earliest form of the disease. Additionally, it has a low risk of becoming invasive, which means it will likely not spread. It is separated into five subtypes:

  1. micropapillary
  2. papillary
  3. solid
  4. cribriform
  5. comedo

Normally, it doesn’t show any symptoms, however some women may experience bloody nipple discharge or a breast lump. It can also be detected early through thermography scans. Women with this form of breast cancer might be able to breathe a sigh of relief as this type is not considered a huge emergency, however if it’s detected, a practitioner won’t hesitate to formulate the best treatment options for the patient.

Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)

LCIS is more uncommon compared to its invasive counterpart, however the condition usually remains within the milk glands. Interestingly, LCIS is not considered cancer, rather a cluster of tiny cells that grow within the lobules and resemble cancer. It can also increase the risk of a more serious breast cancer type. It doesn’t cause any initial symptoms and often can’t be detected through screening. If a lump forms, the condition can be detected after a biopsy of the lump is taken.

LifeWorks Can Treat Any Type

Other less common breast cancer types include Paget’s disease of the breast, Angiosarcoma of the breast, and Phyllodes tumors. These types normally develop due to other breast cancers or as a response to radiation therapy. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we have successfully treated all types of breast cancer since 1997. Our cancer specialists help patients treat their cancer using natural and noninvasive methods compared to the traditional surgery, radiation and chemotherapy; all of which can permanently compromise the body’s immune system. Every cancer treatment program varies from patient-to-patient depending on the type of cancer and stage, however each treatment normally includes:

If you or someone that you know has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and are interested in seeking alternative forms of treatment, please call to schedule an appointment with a LifeWorks cancer specialist at 727-466-6789.

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About Dr. Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego. He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine. In 1992, Dr. Minkoff’s attended a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Bland, widely considered the father of functional medicine, during which he had a eureka moment, and began pursuing the alternative health field with a vengeance, studying under the most accomplished thought leaders on natural & integrative healing. In 1997 Dr. Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic to help friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into LifeWorks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States.