Ductal carcinoma is a breast cancer that can be either invasive or in situ (inside).

Learn more about breast cancer from UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (Stage 0) is the most common non-invasive breast cancer, where abnormal cells have been contained in the lining of the breast milk duct.

Invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer, occurs when mutated cells spread from the milk ducts into the breast tissue. It can also metastasize and affect other parts of the body if left untreated.

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Ductal Carcinoma Risk Factors

Although anyone can develop this type of cancer, the following factors are known to increase your risk:

Symptoms of Ductal Carcinoma

There are warning signs that could be symptoms of ductal carcinoma:

  • Changes in the breast, such as in the size or shape
  • A hard lump that doesn’t move freely
  • Fluid, especially bloody fluid, from the nipple (other than breast milk)
  • Red, swollen, dimpled, or puckered skin on the breast, nipple, or areola
  • A nipple that turns inward

If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.

Treatment Options for Ductal Carcinoma

As with all cancer, your doctor and health care team will work with you on the best treatment options based on your current health and test results. Treatment may include hormone therapy, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, as well as several forms of surgery such as:

  • Mastectomy
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Axillary lymph node dissection


About UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

When you are facing cancer, you need the best care possible. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides world-class cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment, to help you in your cancer battle. We are the only comprehensive cancer center in our region, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. We have more than 70 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, with more than 200 oncologists – making it easier for you to find world-class care close to home. Our internationally renowned research team is striving to find new advances in prevention, detection, and treatment. Most of all, we are here for you. Our patient-first approach aims to provide you and your loved ones the care and support you need. To find a provider near you, visit our website.