American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Invasive Breast Cancers

Invasive cancer cells have spread outside the lobules or ducts and possibly to the lymph nodes. Surgery is a treatment option if the breast cancer has not spread to areas beyond the breast tissue, such as the brain and lungs.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

IDC starts in the milk ducts. IDC can spread (metastasize) to non-axillary lymph nodes, the lungs, bones, and the liver. Symptoms include a hard lump that is felt or found on breast imaging.10 About 80 percent of all invasive breast cancer is IDC. Your treatment will be based on the stage or the spread of the cancer.11

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast. It spreads most often to the non-axillary lymph nodes, the lungs, bones, and the liver.10 The symptoms are an abnormal feeling breast. This is usually felt as a thickening rather than a hard lump. ILC is not easily seen with a mammogram.

About 10 percent of female breast cancer is ILC.11

Diagram of Invasive Lobular Carcinoma

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) starts in the breast tissue and blocks the lymph vessels. Symptoms include a swollen and warm breast. The breast looks red or orange or pitted like an orange peel. Roughly 1 to 5 percent of breast cancer is IBC. It is very aggressive and more likely to come back (reoccur) than other types of breast cancer.

Diagram of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Keeping You Informed

Breast cancer in men is rare. Less than 1 percent of all breast cancers occur in men. The lifetime risk of breast cancer for men is about 1 in 1,000. Men who have a BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation have an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer.12

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of male breast cancer. It presents as a lump, often around the nipple. It can be found by mammography.

Learn more at cancer.gov.