What Is Non-Invasive Breast Cancer?

What Is Non-Invasive Breast Cancer?


Hey, welcome back to The Cancer Nurse Mentor. I’m Jill Weberding, your host and oncology
nurse of more than 20 years.Today we’re talking about breast cancer. There are two different groups of breast
cancer, non-invasive and invasive. Today we’re focusing on the non-invasive breast
cancers. Now you might be wondering, “What in the world is non-invasive cancer? Isn’t
that pretty much by definition what cancer is? Isn’t it all invasive?” Actually, all cancer is NOT invasive.Remember
when we discussed the staging of cancer a few weeks ago? I’ll post that link again below
if you missed it, or if you want to go back and review it quick. Non-invasive cancer is considered Stage 0
(zero). It’s the absolute earliest stage that a
cancer can be diagnosed at. Stage 0 (zero) breast cancer would be when
abnormal cells have grown in one of a couple areas. One, the ducts, those are the tubes that carry the milk from where
it’s made in the breast (the lobules) to where it needs to go to (the nipple). It also could
be found in the nipple or the areola, which is the darkened area of the breast skin around
the nipple.They are all considered breast carcinoma in situ, which is Stage 0 (zero). So we found abnormal cells, but it has not
spread into the rest of the breast tissue or other parts of the body.There are two types
of non-invasive breast cancers, there’s “ductal carcinoma in situ” and “Paget disease
of the nipple.” Ductal carcinoma in situ is often referred
to as “DCIS,” for short. It’s a lot easier to remember and say. Why is it called carcinoma? Carcinoma is simply
one type of cancer. Not all cancers are carcinomas.Carcinomas
are specifically cancers of the cells that line the inner or outer surfaces of the body. They started
in the cells in the lining of a specific body part or area. So that means that ductal carcinoma
in situ is a cancer that started in the lining of the ducts of the breast. Almost all breast cancers are carcinomas and
most have started in the cells that line the ducts. Remember, the ducts are just the tubes
that carry the milk from where it’s made (in the lobules/glands) to where it needs to go
(to the nipple), where it’s going to feed the baby. Think of it kind of like this straw and remember
we’re talking about non-invasive breast cancer so they haven’t spread beyond the duct or
this tube to anywhere else.They haven’t spread through this wall. You don’t see it on the outside.So picture
it encased, all contained in this one little duct, like the straw. It’s not on the outside
of the wall. It’s not anywhere else. It can’t grow anywhere
else in to the body when it’s in this stage…at least, right now. That’s the tricky part. Eventually those abnormal cells could potentially
become invasive cancer, which would mean that it could get out of this duct. It could start
growing through the wall of the duct and then it has the potential to spread into the other
breast tissue around it and even up to the lymph nodes into other parts of the body if
it’s not treated. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know which ones will develop into an
invasive cancer.There’s also no way to know how long before that actually happens.This
is why most patients have it removed with surgery in order to prevent that potential. Nearly 100% (one hundred percent) of patients diagnosed with this early stage breast cancer
(Stage 0) can be cured. That’s important to understand. They will also
likely test the cancer cells when they remove it either from the biopsy or the surgery to
see if it’s estrogen receptor positive (or ER+) to see if estrogen is signaling that
abnormal growth. If it does come back positive, your doctor may also talk to you about considering
taking hormone therapy. Remember, we talked about hormone therapy previously.The purpose
of hormone therapy is to shut down estrogen in the body in order to stop that signaling
of abnormal growth. If you want to know more about hormone therapy or have forgotten what
we talked about, be sure to watch our previous video on that. I’ll post the link below just
for easy access. Now Paget disease of the nipple is only in the nipple or the areola area,
and remember that’s just the darkened area of the breast skin around the nipple. It’s a rare
type of breast cancer. It typically changes the way the nipple feels
and looks. Some common symptoms would be pain, soreness,
itchiness, even burning. It can also be, the nipple can look red or
scaly or flaky, even kind of raw-looking. The nipple may bleed or it could even be sunken,
although that’s less common. Just because a nipple doesn’t sink in (they call that being inverted), doesn’t
mean that there’s nothing wrong. If you or someone you know is experiencing
any of those other symptoms, the redness, the
scaling, or the flaky, the soreness or burning…you
need to make sure that you get checked out by your doctor. There is also something called
“lobular carcinoma in situ.” We call this “LCIS” for short. LCIS means that the abnormal cells are simply
found in the lobules (the milk glands), instead of the ducts. There are millions of lobules
in a woman’s breast tissue.That’s again where the breast milk is formed after a baby is
born. Lobular carcinoma in situ is not a true cancer. It’s when abnormal cells have
been found growing in the lobules. So it’s no longer considered or listed as a Stage
0 (zero) cancer, but it is a risk factor for developing invasive breast cancer. Just like in DCIS, abnormal cells have been
found and while they’re currently being contained in those encased lobules, kind of like a little bubble instead of the
duct. There’s no way to guarantee that they won’t
start growing and spreading outside of that lobule (gland) into the breast tissue and
potentially even beyond. Additional treatment may be necessary, such as surgery to remove
it. A patient with LCIS has about a 25% (twenty-five percent) chance of developing an invasive
cancer in either breast in the next 25 years according to some long term studies. That risk looks different if you’re 40 years-old
versus a patient who’s in their late 80s. So everyone may not choose surgery. All of those factors are considered and discussed
with patients when determining how best to treat LCIS or lobular carcinoma in situ. I
hope this video helped you understand the two different types of non-invasive breast
cancer better, as well as answer questions about LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) if
you’ve heard of that term or maybe know somebody who’s had that diagnosis. Remember, LCIS
is not a true cancer, but it is a risk factor that can increase your risk of developing
breast cancer. The two non-invasive cancers that we talked
about today, ductal carcinoma in situ and Paget disease of the nipple are Stage 0 (zero)
cancers. They’re the absolute earliest stage that a
cancer can be diagnosed. Comment below about what you learned today
and if you have any additional questions about non-invasive breast cancers, like ductal carcinoma
in situ or Paget disease. I really do read all those comments and I’m
happy to answer your questions. Be sure to LIKE, SHARE with a friend who may
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Nurse Mentor. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next
time.

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