The Types of Breast Cancer You Should Know About

A breakdown on the types of breast cancer.
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Chances are you know someone with breast cancer. A Malaysian National Cancer Registry (MNCR) Report 2011 says that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Malaysia and breast cancer is the most common form of malignancy affecting women. Even still, there’s a good chance you don’t know much about all the different types of breast cancer someone can have. Yep, there are a lot of variations of this disease and knowing them just might save your (or someone else’s) life.

Read: Bad Sleeping Habits Could Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer

How do you determine what type of breast cancer someone has?

The important definers are whether breast cancer is invasive or not (in-situ means the cancer is contained within the breast ducts and unable to spread; invasive has the potential to travel outside the breast; or metastatic, meaning the cancer cells have traveled to other sites in the body); the origin of the cancer as well as the type of cells it’s affecting (ductal, lobular, carcinoma, or metaplastic); and what kind of hormonal receptors are present (estrogen; progesterone; human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 or HER-2; or triple-negative, which has none of the aforementioned receptors). Receptors are what signal the breast’s cells (cancerous and otherwise healthy) to grow. All of these factors influence the type of treatment that will be most effective. Typically, the type of breast cancer will include all this information in the name. (Related: Must-Know Facts About Breast Cancer)

We know—that’s a lot to remember. And because there are so many variables, there are a lot of different types of breast cancer—once you start getting into the subtypes, the list grows to more than a dozen. Some types of breast cancer, though, are more common than others, or are super important for determining your overall cancer risk; here’s a rundown of nine you should definitely know about.

Swipe right for info on the various types of breast cancer .

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