What is Papillary Ductal Carcinoma?Papillary ductal carcinoma, also known as intraductal papillary carcinoma or papillary carcinoma of the breast, is a rare type of breast cancer. It begins in the milk ducts and is characterized by the presence of small, wart-like growths (papillae) within the tumor. This form of breast cancer can be non-invasive (papillary ductal carcinoma in situ, DCIS) or invasive, with the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
SymptomsSymptoms of papillary ductal carcinoma may include:
- A lump in the breast that can be felt through the skin.
- Nipple discharge, which may be clear or bloody.
- Changes in the appearance of the nipple or breast skin, such as dimpling, redness, or scaling.
- In some cases, there may be no noticeable symptoms, and the condition is detected during a mammogram.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)The exact causes of papillary ductal carcinoma are not well understood. Like other types of breast cancer, it is believed to be caused by genetic mutations in the cells lining the milk ducts. Risk factors may include age, family history of breast cancer, certain genetic mutations, and exposure to estrogen.
DiagnosisDiagnosing papillary ductal carcinoma typically involves:
- Mammography: To detect abnormalities in the breast.
- Breast Ultrasound: To examine any lumps or changes detected during a physical examination or mammogram.
- Biopsy: A definitive diagnosis is made by examining a tissue sample from the affected area under a microscope.
- MRI: May be used for further evaluation in some cases.
TreatmentTreatment for papillary ductal carcinoma depends on whether the cancer is non-invasive or invasive:
- Surgery: Lumpectomy (removing the tumor and a small margin of surrounding tissue) or mastectomy (removing the entire breast) are common surgical options.
- Radiation Therapy: Often used after lumpectomy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: May be recommended for invasive papillary ductal carcinoma, especially if it has spread beyond the milk ducts.
- Hormone Therapy: If the cancer is hormone-receptor positive, hormone therapy may be used to block the cancer’s ability to use hormones.