Tubular carcinoma grows slowly, rarely spreads

Breast cancer happens when cells divide and grow like normal, but make a mistake when copying DNA into new cells. The new cells then grow out of control into cancerous tumors.

Breast cancer is normally named after what type of cell it starts in. For instance, invasive ductal carcinoma starts in the milk duct cells of the breast. However, breast cancer types can get even more specific. Tubular carcinoma is a type of invasive ductal carcinoma where all the cancer cells look tube-shaped under a microscope.

Tubular carcinoma is rare and usually not aggressive. Typically the tumors are small and don't grow very fast. The cancer also rarely leaves your breast. Tubular carcinoma responds well to treatment and often has a good outlook, meaning you are more likely to get become and stay cancer-free.

To schedule an appointment with a breast cancer specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.

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Tubular carcinoma treatment has few side effects

Like other breast cancers, tubular carcinoma is usually treated first by surgery. Your surgeon will carefully remove just the cancerous area of your breast (lumpectomy) or the entire breast (mastectomy). Most patients with tubular carcinoma only need a lumpectomy for treatment.

If you have had a lumpectomy, you will likely have radiation therapy a few weeks after surgery once you have healed. Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy to destroy cancer cells that might be left after surgery.

Many patients with tubular carcinoma don't require chemotherapy since the cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body. If cancer has spread, chemotherapy can kill cancer cells no matter where they are in your body using specialized medicines.

Because tubular carcinoma uses estrogen to grow, taking hormone therapy after cancer treatment can help keep cancer away. During hormone therapy, you take a pill every day for five to ten years. The pill stops your breast tissues from absorbing estrogen or stops your body from making estrogen entirely. Hormone therapies can be effective at keeping tubular carcinoma from coming back.