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There are several different types of breast cancer. They are usually named after the types of cells from which it is thought the cancer has developed.
Knowing the type of cancer helps the doctors decide on the most appropriate treatment.
This is the earliest form of breast cancer. In DCIS, cancer cells are in the ducts of the breast, but they haven’t started to spread into the surrounding breast tissue. DCIS is much less common in men than in women; only 5% of breast cancers in men are DCIS.
We have more information in our section on DCIS|.
If cancer cells have spread outside the lining of the ducts or lobules and into surrounding breast tissue, it’s called invasive breast cancer. There are different types of invasive breast cancer:
The lymph vessels and the breast then become inflamed and swollen, which is how the condition gets its name. Inflammatory breast cancer is very rare in men, but we have a fact sheet we can send you if you would like to know more.
Other rare types of breast cancer include:
Content last reviewed: 1 September 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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