Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is a broad term used to classify cancer that began growing in a milk duct and has invaded the fibrous or fatty tissue of the breast outside the duct. From there, it may spread, or metastasise, to other parts of the body such as bones and organs.

How Common is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma?

Invasive ductal carcinoma accounts for around 80 per cent of all breast cancers diagnosed. IDC is also the type of breast cancer that most commonly affects men.

What are the Symptoms of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma?

Some patients diagnosed with IDC may not present with any symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • A new lump in the breast, armpit area or around the collarbone
  • A change in breast size or shape
  • Changes to the nipple, such as sores or crusting, an ulcer or inverted nipple
  • Clear or bloody nipple discharge
  • Changes to the skin including redness, puckering, or dimpling (an ‘orange peel’ appearance)
  • Breast tenderness or pain

How is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Diagnosed?

IDC is typically diagnosed during a routine screening mammogram or after symptoms become apparent. If there is evidence IDC is present on a mammogram, a biopsy will be performed.

How is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Treated?

Treatment of IDC depends on how advanced the cancer is (what stage it is) and the characteristics (size, location, spread and type) of the tumour. Treatment options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery.

What are my chances of Survival (prognosis) if I am Diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma?

In Australia and New Zealand, more people are surviving their breast cancer diagnosis than ever before. Thanks to the advancements made through clinical trials research, there are more tailored and advanced treatments, preventions, and screening techniques available.

However, for some people, their breast cancer will progress to an advanced or metastatic stage and this greatly reduces their chances of survival.

Your age, stage of disease and tumour type has an impact on your chance of surviving five years past your breast cancer diagnosis. Those diagnosed with stage one breast cancer have a 99% chance of surviving five years post diagnosis, however those diagnosed with stage four breast cancer only have a 32% chance of surviving five years post diagnosis.

Overall, the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 91.5%, and 86.4% for men.

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