Other Types of Rare Breast Cancer

Although there are several more common types of breast cancer, there are rarer subtypes of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and male breast cancer.

What are the rarer subtypes of IDC?

Invasive ductal carcinoma is cancer that originates in the milk ducts and spreads to other breast tissue. Once a diagnosis of IDC has been made, your physician will examine the cancer cells to see if they can be categorized as a rare subtype:

Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast

These cancer cells forming in the milk ducts form small tubules that look similar to healthy cells and tend to grow more slowly than other cancer cells. Despite being an invasive breast cancer, tubular carcinoma is not an aggressive cancer and generally responds well to treatment.

Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast

Named for the tumor's resemblance to the brain's medulla, this cancer forms a fleshy mass. Women who have the BRCA1 gene mutation are more likely to develop this rarer breast cancer subtype. Medullary carcinoma cells look like other aggressive cancer cells but are in fact slow growing and rarely spread to the lymph nodes. For these reasons, medullary carcinoma is generally easier to treat than other forms of IDC.

Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast

Also known as colloid carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma is a tumor that is made up of cancer cells that are suspended in mucin (one of the components of mucus). Although other breast cancer types produce some mucus, in mucinous carcinoma the mucin becomes part of the tumor instead of just being excreted by it. This IDC subtype is less aggressive than other breast cancers and generally responds well to treatment.

How are rare IDC subtypes treated?

The subtypes will be identified during the diagnostic and staging phases of breast cancer treatment. If your physician diagnoses you with one of these rarer subtypes of invasive ductal carcinoma you will still be treated for IDC but perhaps with more challenging surgery, since your surgeon will want to achieve clean margins upon excising the tumor.

Male Breast Cancer

Both men and women have breast tissue, which makes breast cancer a distinct possibility for not only women but men as well. However, male breast cancer is very rare. BreastCancer.org places the odds of a man developing breast cancer at one in 1,000 throughout his lifetime.

The signs and symptoms of male breast cancer are similar to the symptoms for women:

  • Lump in the breast area
  • Enlarged lymph nodes under the arm
  • Nipple pain or an inverted nipple
  • Nipple discharge, either clear or bloody
  • Sores on the nipple and areola

These signs and symptoms are generally observed either by the patient or a physician during a physical examination. Upon discovering abnormalities in the breast, a physician will likely order a mammogram, ultrasound, or biopsy to form a diagnosis of male breast cancer.

Each rare case of male breast cancer is unique, and your team at Baptist will form a personalized treatment plan, possibly including chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or any combination of these treatment options.