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Breast Cancer Histology

Learn about the different microscopic features of breast cancer and how they can help guide treatment and prognosis.
2023-04-07

Review of Breast Cancer Histology

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and its early diagnosis is paramount for successful treatment. Histology, the microscopic examination of tissue, can help pathologists identify and classify the various forms of breast cancer. In this review, we will discuss the various types of breast cancer histology and their associated prognosis.

Types of Breast Cancer Histology

Histopathology is the microscopic inspection of tissue obtained from biopsies. It is used to help identify the type of breast cancer present and to determine the aggressiveness of the cancer. The main forms of breast cancer histology are Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS), Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), and Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC).

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

DCIS is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer and occurs when abnormal cells form in the milk ducts. It has not yet spread beyond the ducts, but if left untreated, it can become invasive. DCIS is typically treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy. The prognosis for DCIS is very good, with more than 95% of patients surviving at least five years after diagnosis.

Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)

LCIS is a non-invasive form of breast cancer that occurs when abnormal cells form in the milk-producing glands. It is often found in conjunction with DCIS and is typically treated with hormone therapy or preventive surgery. The prognosis for LCIS is also very good, with a five-year survival rate of more than 90%.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

IDC is the most common type of invasive breast cancer and occurs when abnormal cells form in the milk ducts and spread beyond them. It is typically treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy. The prognosis for IDC varies depending on the tumor size, the grade of the cancer, and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

IBC is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that occurs when cancer cells block the lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast. It is typically treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The prognosis for IBC is worse than for other forms of breast cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 50%.

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

ILC is an uncommon form of invasive breast cancer that occurs when abnormal cells form in the milk-producing glands and spread beyond them. It is typically treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy. The prognosis for ILC is dependent on the size of the tumor, the grade of the cancer, and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Conclusion

Histopathology is an invaluable tool for diagnosing and treating breast cancer. It can help pathologists identify the type of cancer present and determine the aggressiveness of the cancer. The five main forms of breast cancer histology are Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS), Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), and Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC). The prognosis for each form of breast cancer varies, but early detection and treatment remain the key to successful outcomes.

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