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The most common form of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma occurs when cancerous cells form in a duct that carries milk from a lobule (a gland in the breast that produces milk) to the nipple, and then spread to tissue outside the duct. Additionally, the cancer may also spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body by traveling through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Also known as infiltrating ductal carcinoma, this malignancy accounts for approximately 80 percent of all breast cancer cases.

What are the symptoms of invasive ductal carcinoma?

Sometimes, the symptoms of invasive ductal carcinoma are difficult to recognize, especially when the malignancy is in its early stages. Because of this, it is important to perform monthly breast examinations on your own and report even seemingly minor changes to a physician. Here are some common invasive ductal carcinoma symptoms to be especially vigilant for:

  • A lump in the breast or underarm area
  • Pain or swelling in one breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Redness or a rash on the skin of a breast
  • Inward turning of a nipple
  • Dimpling around a nipple
  • Any changes in a breast’s size, shape or feel

How is invasive ductal carcinoma treated?

Treatment for invasive ductal carcinoma often involves surgery to remove the cancerous breast tissue. For large tumors that measure more than one centimeter in diameter, a systemic treatment such as chemotherapy may be recommended. The amount of breast tissue removed during surgery, as well as the other forms of treatment recommended (if any), will depend on several individual factors, including the size, stage and spread of the cancer. For this reason, patients with invasive ductal carcinoma should seek treatment at a high-volume cancer center that not only routinely treats patients with this malignancy, but also provides individualized treatment plans.

In Moffitt Cancer Center’s Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program, we offer a comprehensive range of treatment options for patients with invasive ductal carcinoma. By reviewing each new case on its own and recommending individualized treatment plans, we are able to give our patients the best chance of reaching a favorable outcome and an improved quality of life.

To learn more about receiving invasive ductal carcinoma treatment at Moffitt, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. You do not need a referral to request an appointment.