In invasive cribriform carcinoma, the cancer cells invade the stroma (connective tissues of the breast) in nestlike formations between the ducts and lobules. Within the tumor, there are distinctive holes in between the cancer cells, making it look something like Swiss cheese. Invasive cribriform carcinoma is usually low grade, meaning that its cells look and behave somewhat like normal, healthy breast cells. In about 5-6% of invasive breast cancers, some portion of the tumor can be considered cribriform. Usually, some ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the cribriform type is present as well.
For information about how cribriform invasive carcinoma is treated, see the section on treatment for invasive ductal carcinoma.