If you have recently been screened for breast cancer and have been diagnosed with comedocarcinoma, you may have questions about this early-stage breast cancer, such as its potential severity and how it is treated. .
After a diagnosis of comedocarcinoma, your next step should be a discussion with your doctor.
In this article, we will provide information that can help inform this discussion. We’ll look at how comedocarcinoma is graded (its risk of recurrence), along with symptoms, treatments, and outlook.
Comedocarcinoma is a type of breast cancer that
DCIS is considered non-invasive breast cancer because it only affects cells in the milk ducts and has not spread to nearby tissues. However,
Unlike other forms of breast cancer, comedocarcinoma consists of small, plug-like growths that you may not realize until you have regular breast screenings. This precancer does not always cause symptoms, which makes routine mammography even more important in early detection.
Although there is no known cause of comedocarcinoma, the following risk factors
According to a 2020 study, risk factors for estrogen receptor positive DCIS in African American women include:
- first-degree family history of DCIS
- early periods
- use of birth control pills in the past 10 years
- having a first birth later in life
Comedoccarcinoma is considered a “high-grade” subtype of DCIS that contains dead cancer cells inside the lesions.
DCIS can be categorized into grades I to III, as follows:
- Class I: This indicates a low risk of recurrence and means that cancer cells look like healthy cells under a microscope.
- Class II: Also called moderate grade, this means cancer cells can grow faster and there is a higher risk of recurrence.
- Degree III: This is also known as ‘high grade’ DCIS and means there is a good chance the cancer will come back.
This means that although comedocarcinoma is considered a precancer, it is also the highest – and potentially the most aggressive – form of DCIS.
Comedocarcinoma does not always cause symptoms, but it is possible to experience breast pain. In some cases, this type of breast cancer can also cause nipple discharge which, unlike other types of breast cancer, is usually clear instead of bloody.
DCIS can also cause breast lumps. This is different
- breast swelling
- dimpled skin that may resemble orange peel
- scaly, red, or thickened nipples and/or breast skin
- nipples that turn inward
- swollen lymph nodes under the arms or collarbone
You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any changes or discomfort in the chest area. The same advice applies even if you have already been diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer or a benign (non-cancerous) breast condition.
Comedoccarcinoma is most often discovered during a routine mammogram. In fact, it is estimated that
In addition to mammography, according to Breastcancer.org, a doctor can also confirm the presence of comedocarcinoma with a combination of:
Different types of DCIS, including comedocarcinoma, are confirmed by a biopsy sample under a microscope. “Comedo”
Once comedocarcinoma is confirmed, a pathologist determines
Camedocarcinoma, like other types of DCIS, is almost always stage 0 because the cancer has not spread beyond its starting point.
Like other types of DCIS, comedocarcinoma is considered stage 0, which is the lowest grade on cancer staging scales.
However, it is still possible for DCIS to spread outside the ducts into nearby tissues. In such cases, the cancer can become invasive and spread to other parts of the body.
According to data reported by the
Comedocarcinoma is a subtype of DCIS, which is a non-invasive or early form of breast cancer. These growths usually do not cause symptoms and are most often found during regular breast cancer screenings, such as mammograms.
Although the overall risk of death is low with this type of cancer, it is possible for comedocarcinoma to spread outside the breast ducts and invade other tissues. For this reason, a doctor will likely recommend preventative treatments such as surgery or hormone therapies.