Treatment Of Locally Advanced Or Inflammatory Breast Cancer
For information about the treatments listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.
- Targeted therapy .
- Clinical trials testing new anticancer drugs, new drug combinations, and new ways of giving treatment.
Use our clinical trial search to find NCI-supported cancer clinical trials that are accepting patients. You can search for trials based on the type of cancer, the age of the patient, and where the trials are being done. General information about clinical trials is also available.
Diagnosing Invasive Breast Cancer
In many people the cancer is found during breast screening.
Its important that you see your GP if you have any symptoms. They may refer you to a specialist breast clinic. At the breast clinic the doctor or specialist nurse takes your medical history and examines your breasts. They also feel for any swollen lymph nodes under your arms and at the base of your neck.
You may have some or all of the following tests:
- a mammogram
- an ultrasound
- a biopsy a small sample of cells or tissue is taken from your breast and looked at under a microscope
Changes seen on the mammogram or ultrasound could be due to cancer, so you may have a biopsy of the breast. You might also have an ultrasound of the lymph nodes under your arm. You may also have lymph node biopsies if they look abnormal.
You should get your results within 1 or 2 weeks at a follow up appointment.
- drugs that help prevent or slow down bone thinning or bone damage
- a combination of these treatments
You may have surgery to your armpit called a sentinel lymph node biopsy. This means having about 3-5 lymph nodes removed. Sometimes surgeons have to remove more lymph nodes. Your doctor will let you know whether you need this.
You might have chemotherapy or hormone therapy before surgery called neoadjuvant therapy. The aim is to shrink the cancer down. This means that some people may be able to have breast conserving surgery, who might have needed removal of the breast .
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The best way to cite this PDQ summary is:
PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. PDQ Breast Cancer Treatment . Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated < MM/DD/YYYY> . Available at: . Accessed < MM/DD/YYYY> .
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Breast Cancer Is Sometimes Caused By Inherited Gene Mutations
The genes in cells carry the hereditary information that is received from a persons parents. Hereditary breast cancer makes up about 5% to 10% of all breast cancer. Some mutated genes related to breast cancer are more common in certain ethnic groups.
Women who have certain gene mutations, such as a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, have an increased risk of breast cancer. These women also have an increased risk of ovarian cancer, and may have an increased risk of other cancers. Men who have a mutated gene related to breast cancer also have an increased risk of breast cancer. For more information, see the PDQ summary onMale Breast Cancer Treatment.
There are tests that can detect mutated genes. Thesegenetic tests are sometimes done for members of families with a high risk of cancer. See the PDQ summary on Genetics of Breast and Gynecologic Cancers for more information.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Treatment
People who undergo surgery for invasive ductal carcinoma usually recover in about two to four weeks. Healing may take longer if lymph nodes are removed or if you choose to undergo breast reconstruction.
Recovery after chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy may take several weeks or several months, depending on the location and stage of the tumor. Your healthcare provider can tell you about how long your treatment should take.
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Additional Types Of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma:
There are four types of invasive ductal carcinoma that are less common:
- Medullary Ductal Carcinoma This type of cancer is rare and only three to five percent of breast cancers are diagnosed as medullary ductal carcinoma. The tumor usually shows up on a mammogram and it does not always feel like a lump rather it can feel like a spongy change of breast tissue.
- Mucinous Ductal Carcinoma This occurs when cancer cells within the breast produce mucous, which also contains breast cancer cells. The cells and mucous combine to form a tumor. Pure mucinous ductal carcinoma carries a better prognosis than more common types of IDCs.
- Papillary Carcinoma This is a very good prognosis breast cancer that primarily occur in women over the age of 60.
- Tubular Ductal Carcinoma This is a rare diagnosis of IDC, making up only two percent of diagnoses of breast cancer. The name comes from how the cancer looks under the microscope like hundreds of tiny tubes. Tubular breast cancer has an excellent prognosis.
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How Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Diagnosed
Same Day Results
At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, we know how quickly patients want results from a biopsy or scan if there is a suspicion of breast cancer. We follow strict guidelines for biopsies and pathology reports. Most of our patients will receive the probability of cancer immediately following their biopsy procedure and a pathology confirmation within 24 hours.
Learn more about the steps of diagnosis, including:
- Digital mammography
- Biologic targeted therapy
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Cancer Cure And All Clear
Many people who have cancer want to know if theyre cured. You may hear words like cure and all clear in the media.
Cured means theres no chance of the breast cancer coming back. However, its not possible to be sure that breast cancer will never come back. Treatment for breast cancer will be successful for most people, and the risk of recurrence gets less as time goes on. Recurrence, unfortunately, can happen even many years after treatment, so no one can say with certainty that youre definitely cured.
All clear, or in remission which is another term you may have heard used, means theres no obvious sign of cancer at the moment.
If your breast cancer has spread to other parts of your body this will affect your prognosis. Secondary breast cancer can be treated, sometimes for many years, but not cured. Find out more about secondary breast cancer.
In order to be as clear as possible, your treatment team is more likely to talk about your chances of survival over a period of time or the possibility of remaining free of breast cancer in the future.
When Is Radiation Usually Used To Treat Stage 2 Breast Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, radiation therapy may be used after lumpectomy to mitigate the risk of cancer cells recurring in the same breast or nearby lymph nodes. After a mastectomy, an oncologist may determine that radiation is necessary if the tumor was larger than 5 cm, if there was lymph node involvement, or if cancer was found outside of surgical margins.
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There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
- TX: Primary tumor cannot be assessed.
- T0: No sign of a primary tumor in the breast.
- Tis: Carcinoma in situ. There are 2 types of breast carcinoma in situ:
- Tis : DCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive breast cancer that is able to spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions can become invasive.
- Tis : Paget disease of the nipple is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the skin cells of the nipple and may spread to the areola. It is not staged according to the TNM system. If Paget disease AND an invasive breast cancer are present, the TNM system is used to stage the invasive breast cancer.
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What Is The Long Term Outlook Or Prognosis For Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
The prognosis for Invasive Ductal Carcinoma depends on the cancer stage and when it was diagnosed. If the Invasive Ductal Carcinoma is diagnosed in its early stages, then the prognosis is quite good. However, the prognosis of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma becomes guarded to poor in cases where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, especially the bones or lungs.
The Use Of Certain Medicines And Other Factors Decrease The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Anything that decreases your chance of getting a disease is called a protective factor.
Protective factors for breast cancer include the following:
- Taking any of the following:
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How Does Staging Relate To Types Of Breast Cancer
In addition to cancer stage, doctors will determine the tumor grade and subtype.
Tumors are graded on a scale of 1 to 3, based on how abnormal the cells appear compared to normal cells. The higher the grade, the more aggressive the cancer, meaning that it tends to be growing quickly.
The subtype is important because treatment and outlook will vary depending on which subtype of breast cancer that you have. Subtypes include:
These are different types of invasive ductal carcinoma that can be identified under the microscope.
- Tubular, mucinous, and cribriform carcinomas are âspecial typesâ of well-differentiated cancers that often have a better prognosis than the more common type of invasive ductal carcinoma .
- Micropapillary carcinoma is a type of invasive breast carcinoma that often has a worse prognosis.
If your doctor knows that your tumor is made up of one of these special types of breast cancer, he or she may recommend different treatment.
Since some tumors are made up of more than one type, the entire tumor must be removed in order to know what types your tumor contains. A needle biopsy doesnt give enough information to guide treatment.
How Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Of Breast Treated
Treatment options available for individuals with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of Breast are dependent upon the following:
- Type of cancer
- The staging of the cancer
- Whether the cancer cells are sensitive to certain particular hormones, and
- Personal preferences
In general, breast cancer stages range from 0 to IV. 0 may indicate a small and non-invasive cancer, while IV indicates that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Briefly, as per US National Cancer Institute , breast cancer is staged as follows:
- Stage 0 : The abnormal cancer cells are confined to their site of origin
- Stage I: The tumor is 2 centimeters in diameter or less, and has not spread outside the breast
- Stage II: The tumor may be up to 5 centimeters in diameter and may have spread to lymph nodes. Another criteria is that the tumor may be larger than 5 centimeters in diameter, but has not spread to surrounding lymph nodes
- Stage III: The tumor may be more than 5 centimeters in diameter and may have spread to several axillary lymph nodes, or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone. The cancer may also have spread to the breast skin/chest wall, causing ulcer-like sores, or a swelling
- Stage IV: The tumor has spread outside the breast and to other organs, such as the bones, liver, lungs, or brain, regardless of its size
If breast cancer is diagnosed, staging helps determine whether it has spread and which treatment options are best for the patient.
- Stage 2A
- Stage 2B
Stage 2A can mean:
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Questions To Ask The Doctor
- Do you know the stage of the cancer?
- If not, how and when will you find out the stage of the cancer?
- Would you explain to me what the stage means in my case?
- Based on the stage of the cancer, how long do you think Ill live?
- Do you know if my cancer has any of these proteins: estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, or the HER2 protein?
- What does it mean if my cancer has any of these proteins?
- What will happen next?
There are many ways to treat breast cancer.
Surgery and radiation are used to treat cancer in a specific part of the body . They do not affect the rest of the body.
Chemotherapy, hormone treatment, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy drugs go through the whole body. They can reach cancer cells almost anywhere in the body.
Doctors often use more than one treatment for breast cancer. The treatment plan thats best for you will depend on:
- The cancer’s stage and grade
- If the cancer has specific proteins, like the HER2 protein or hormone receptors
- The chance that a type of treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Your age
- Other health problems you have
- Your feelings about the treatment and the side effects that come with it
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Fully understanding your situation can empower you and help you take control of your health. Here are some questions you might want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What stage of invasive ductal carcinoma do I have?
- How far has my cancer spread?
- What are my treatment options?
- How long will my treatment take?
- Will I be able to work during my treatment?
- What are my chances of survival?
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Patients May Want To Think About Taking Part In A Clinical Trial
For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are part of the cancer research process. Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.
Many of today’s standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.
Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.
Certain Factors Affect Prognosis And Treatment Options
The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer .
- The type of breast cancer.
- Estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor levels in the tumor tissue.
- Human epidermal growth factor type 2 receptor levels in the tumor tissue.
- Whether the tumor tissue is triple negative .
- How fast the tumor is growing.
- How likely the tumor is to recur .
- A womans age, general health, and menopausal status .
- Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Nipple retraction is the first and foremost symptoms that can be observed in an individual with Invasive or Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. A self-breast exam can clearly show retraction of the nipple and alveolar complex. There may also be pain felt in the breast at times but this is not always the case. Other than this, there are no observable symptoms for Invasive or Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma.