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Invasive ductal breast cancer

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This page is about invasive ductal cancer. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Invasive ductal breast cancer

Ductal breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer. Around 90 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed (90%) are this type. It is also called ductal carcinoma. An invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast is a cancer that started in the cells that line the ducts of the breasts and has spread into the surrounding breast tissue.

Most often, ductal carcinoma is described as being of no special type. You may see this written as NST or NOS (not otherwise specified).

Treatment for ductal breast cancer

For ductal breast cancer, you may have

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Or a combination of some of the above

We have information about which treatments are used for the different stages of breast cancer. The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the About breast cancer section.

 

 

What invasive ductal cancer is

Ductal breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer. Around 90 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed (90%) are this type. It is also called ductal carcinoma. A ductal carcinoma of the breast is a cancer that started in the cells that line the ducts of the breasts and has begun to spread into the surrounding breast tissue.

Diagram showing ductal cancer in situ (DCIS)

Often, ductal carcinoma is described as being of no special type. You may see this written as NST or NOS (not otherwise specified). Special type means that when the doctor looks at the cells under a microscope the cells have features that class them as a particular type of cancer. Breast cancers that are classed as special type include lobular breast cancer and some rare types of breast cancer.

Remember that if your doctor has told you that you have ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), you do not have invasive ductal breast cancer. You can find information about DCIS in this section.

 

Treatment for invasive ductal cancer

For ductal breast cancer, you may have

Click on the links above for detailed information about these treatments. You can also look at the page about which treatment for breast cancer to find out how the treatments are used for different stages of breast cancer. The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. 

To decide on the most appropriate treatment doctors generally take into account 

  • The stage of the cancer
  • How abnormal the cells look under the microscope (the grade)
  • Whether the cancer cells have receptors for particular hormones
  • Whether the cells have receptors for biological therapies
 

More information about invasive ductal breast cancer

You can find information about breast cancer symptoms and breast cancer tests

We have detailed information about breast cancer treatments in this section.

You can phone the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040. The lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. They will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Our breast cancer organisations page gives details of other people who can provide information about breast cancer and its treatment. Some organisations can put you in touch with a cancer support group. 

If you want to find people to share experiences with online, you could use Cancer Chat, our online forum.

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Updated: 30 July 2014