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The breast is made up of lobules (milk-producing glands), ducts (passageways that convey milk from the lobules to the nipple) and other tissues. Most breast cancers develop within the lining of the ducts or the lobules. A small percentage of tumors originate in the connective tissues or blood vessels of the breast.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer differs from other breast cancer types in that it usually does not have a distinct lump or solid mass. IBC is difficult to diagnose and is the least common type of breast cancer. Learn more about signs, symptoms, testing, diagnosing and treating IBC.

Non-Invasive Breast Cancer (Carcinoma in situ)

About one-quarter of all breast cancer diagnoses are early stage cancers that are confined to the lobule or duct where they originated. These cancers are called non-invasive breast cancer or carcinoma in situ. The most common form of non-invasive breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) — an early stage breast tumor confined to a duct. 

A less common form is lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) — a carcinoma that is confined to a lobule. Many experts do not regard LCIS as a true cancer, but it is a risk factor for developing invasive breast cancer.

In the Breast Cancer Program, we evaluate your diagnosis and determine the breast cancer treatment that is best for you.

Invasive Breast Cancer and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

A breast malignancy that has grown and spread beyond the duct or lobule where it originated is called invasive breast cancer. Approximately four out of every five cases of invasive breast cancer originate in the ducts of the breast (invasive ductal carcinoma, or IDC). 

Less common are invasive cancers that begin in the lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma, or ILC).

Your breast cancer treatment will be designed to match your specific diagnosis. 

Signs and Symptoms

One symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass that can be felt in the breast. Some women may experience pain or tenderness in the breasts. 

Early Detection

The earlier a breast cancer is detected, the greater the chance of achieving a long-term cure. Mammogram and breast self-exam are valuable tools in the early detection of breast cancer.

Virtual Visits Are Available

Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We’ll gather your medical records for you and get our experts’ input so we can offer treatment options without an in-person visit. To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-680-0505.

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Cancer and the COVID-19 Vaccine

There is currently no data that suggests current or former cancer patients should avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Cancer can weaken your immune system, so we recommend that most patients get the vaccine as soon as possible.