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Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), also known as infiltrating breast cancer, accounts for 80 percent of all invasive breast cancers. It is also the most common type of male breast cancer. At the Abramson Cancer Center, we offer comprehensive care that includes expertise, innovation and support for every stage of IDC.

What Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma?

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is a type of cancer that starts in the milk ducts of your breast and moves into nearby tissue. In time, IDC may spread through the lymph nodes or bloodstream to other areas of the body (metastatic breast cancer).

Diagnosing Invasive Breast Cancer

We typically detect IDC during routine breast cancer screening. While IDC does not always produce typical breast cancer symptoms, you may notice a new lump or unusual changes in your breast. If your physician suspects breast cancer, additional tests and a biopsy may confirm a diagnosis of IDC. The size of the initial tumor and the extent of cancer spread determines the stage of breast cancer. Learn more about how we diagnose breast cancer at Penn Medicine.

Some women may be diagnosed with a subtype of IDC. These diagnoses are rare; each one makes up less than 5 percent of all breast cancers. Less common forms of IDC include:

  • Medullary carcinoma
  • Metaplastic carcinoma
  • Mucinous (or colloid) carcinoma
  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Tubular carcinoma

Why Choose the Abramson Cancer Center for Ductal Carcinoma?

Invasive ductal carcinoma requires comprehensive care from diagnosis through post-treatment follow-up. Our breast cancer team offers patient-centered, innovative care for every aspect of IDC. At the Abramson Cancer Center, you'll find:

  • Specialized providers: Our multidisciplinary team of radiologists, pathologists, oncologists and surgeons focuses only on breast cancer. Our in-depth knowledge allows us to provide unparalleled care. Meet our breast cancer team.
  • Innovative treatments: We are on the forefront of new breast cancer treatments. Through research studies and the newest protocols in care, we provide the most tailored treatment options for every patient.
  • Continuous support: We offer guidance and support throughout your entire journey with breast cancer. Our oncology nurse navigators coordinate your care and answer all questions. Our breast cancer support services provide comfort and relief during treatment.
  • Convenient care: Our providers offer expert breast cancer care at all Penn Medicine locations. This collaboration across the network means you get the right treatment close to home.

Our Approach to Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Treatment

The first step in personalized and effective treatment is an accurate diagnosis. Our specialized breast cancer pathologist and radiologists work together to get an accurate diagnosis, including hormone receptors and HER2 status. With this information in hand, we tailor your treatment, which may include: