About breast cancer

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,900 new cases each year (visit the Cancer Research UK website for more statistics).

There are several types of breast cancer, which can develop in different parts of the breast. It can be diagnosed in different stages of development and can grow at different rates. Rarely, it can be diagnosed in men as well as women.

The Trust provides a screening, diagnostic and specific treatment service for breast cancer patients.

Diagram showing the female breast from the inside

Types of breast cancer

Breast cancer types are often divided into non-invasive and invasive. The type of breast cancer diagnosed impacts upon what type of treatments are offered.

The most common types of breast cancer include:

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – DCIS breast cancer is non-invasive. This means that although there are breast cancer cells in the milk ducts, they are completely contained in this area and have not spread into surrounding breast tissue.
  • Invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) – IDC breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer. A ductal carcinoma of the breast is a cancer that started in the cells that line the ducts of the breasts and has begun to spread into the surrounding breast tissue.
  • Invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) – ILC breast cancer occurs when cancer cells have started to grow within the breast lobules and then spread outside into the surrounding breast tissue.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer – inflammatory breast cancer is a rare, fast-growing type of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer gets its name because the skin of the breast has a red, inflamed appearance. The skin of the breast may also look and feel like an orange peel.
  • Paget’s disease of the breast – Paget’s disease of the breast is an uncommon type of breast cancer that usually first shows as changes to the nipple area.

Rare types of breast cancer

Other rare types of breast cancer include:

  • Medullary breast cancer – medullary breast cancer is an invasive breast cancer. It can occur at any age but it is more often diagnosed in younger women. It is also more common in women who have inherited an altered BRCA 1 gene.
  • Mucinous breast cancer – this is an invasive breast cancer that usually responds well to treatment. It is less likely to spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Tubular breast cancer – tubular breast cancer is a rare type of breast cancer that starts inside the milk ducts and spreads into the surrounding breast tissue. These tumours tend to be low-grade and tend to grow slowly.
  • Malignant phyllodes tumour – phyllodes tumours are made up of a mixture of cells from connective (fibrous) tissue and the tissue layer (epithelium) that lines the breast.

The Trust offers rapid advice, diagnosis and treatment to patients displaying symptoms of a breast cancer and has a specialist breast team that will see you from referral from a GP or a breast screening service to diagnose and treat your breast cancer.

Our team is here to support you every step of the way.

This breast cancer section on our website takes you through your breast cancer pathway within the Trust and provides you with the information and support you will need throughout your journey.

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