Breast cancer is unfortunately common, affecting 1 in 8 women in their lifetime.
Breast cancer can also affect men but is much less common. In Australia 1 in 688 men will be diagnosed.
Breast cancers, particularly those detected by mammogram or ultrasound, generally have a good prognosis with good long-term survival in most women.
There are several different types of breast cancer; the most common is invasive ductal carcinoma.
Your surgeon – Dr Jenny Gough or Dr Kate Stringer – will make a full assessment during your consultation and discuss a comprehensive management plan with you.
Following surgery your results will be discussed with their Multidisciplinary Team and you will receive a recommendation on any other treatment required. Research has shown that multidisciplinary team discussions optimise outcome in breast cancer. Read more about the multidisciplinary discussion.
Types of Breast Cancer
There are different types of breast cancer. Each type of cancer behaves differently and may require different management. Your breast surgeon will discuss the type of cancer and management with you.
Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common breast cancer and arises from the ducts of the breast. The term invasive (or infiltrative) means that the cancer cells have broken through the wall of the duct and have the potential to spread, although in most cases have not.
Invasive lobular carcinoma is less common, approximately 10% of all breast cancers and arises from the glands of the breast. It often has microscopic extensions and can be larger than expected.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the term used for cancer cells contained within the ducts of the breast. This is the earliest form of breast cancer. Over time the cells may invade the wall of the duct to become invasive ductal cancer. DCIS is detected as microcalcification on screening mammogram. Most women do not have any symptoms. DCIS is treated with surgery alone or surgery and radiation. Occasionally endocrine treatment may be recommended.
More information on the treatment of invasive breast cancer and DCIS can be found below.