Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells within the breast.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. It also occurs in men, but the incidence is much lower. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with Breast cancer is 1 in 7 for women and 1 in 555 for men.
There are many different types of breast cancer, and your treatment will be tailored specifically to you and your cancer sub-type
Although a diagnosis of Breast cancer is understandably very stressful, the overall survival from Breast cancer is excellent when treatment recommendations are followed. Australia has one of the best Breast cancer survival rates in the world and the 5-year survival rate is >90%. This continues to improve as achieve earlier diagnoses and improved treatments evolve.
Types of Breast Cancer
Many Breast cancers will be diagnosed at an early stage called DCIS or Ductal carcinoma in-situ. This is a non-invasive type of Breast cancer and does not spread to other parts of the body. It does still require treatment including surgery, radiotherapy and occasionally hormonal manipulation but not usually chemotherapy
Invasive Breast cancer
Other Breast cancers will be diagnosed as Invasive Breast carcinoma. These tumours have the potential to spread to other parts of the body and include many sub-types.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma- The most common type of breast cancer and accounts for approximately 80% of all Breast cancers.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma- The second most common type of Breast cancer.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer- A rare type of Breast cancer that affects the skin and lymphatic vessels of the breast. The breast can become red and inflamed.
Other rare Breast cancers include medullary mucinous, metaplastic.
Breast cancer treatment is tailored to each individual person, their other health issues and their tumour sub-type, size, location, and their stage. Treatment usually involves a various combination of surgery, chemotherapy, Hormone manipulation and radiotherapy. These treatments may be given in any order and although traditionally surgery was the first step, we are now starting to give other treatments (such as chemotherapy or Her2 therapy) first in many cases.
Hormone receptor positive Breast Cancer
These types of Breast cancer are sensitive to Oestrogen and/or Progesterone. This means that they need these hormones to grow and hormone blocking therapy (Endocrine Therapy) may be used as part of their treatment.