2024 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code C50.012
Malignant neoplasm of nipple and areola, left female breast
- Clinical Category:
- Breast cancer - all other types
- CCSR Category Code:
- Inpatient Default CCSR:
- Y - Yes, default inpatient assignment for principal diagnosis or first-listed diagnosis.
- Outpatient Default CCSR:
- Y - Yes, default outpatient assignment for principal diagnosis or first-listed diagnosis.
The Medicare Code Editor (MCE) detects and reports errors in the coding of claims data. The following ICD-10-CM Code Edits are applicable to this code:
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in breast tissue. It happens when cells in the breast change and grow out of control. The cells usually form a tumor.
Sometimes the cancer does not spread any further. This is called "in situ." If the cancer spreads outside the breast, the cancer is called "invasive." It may just spread to nearby tissues and lymph nodes. Or the cancer may metastasize (spread to other parts of the body) through the lymph system or the blood.
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women in the United States. Rarely, it can also affect men.
What are the types of breast cancer?
There are different types of breast cancer. The types are based on which breast cells turn into cancer. The types include:
- Ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. This is the most common type.
- Lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules. It is more often found in both breasts than other types of breast cancer.
- Inflammatory breast cancer, in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. The breast becomes warm, red, and swollen. This is a rare type.
- Paget's disease of the breast, which is a cancer involving the skin of the nipple. It usually also affects the darker skin around the nipple. It is also rare.
What causes breast cancer?
Breast cancer happens when there are changes in the genetic material (DNA). Often, the exact cause of these genetic changes is unknown.
But sometimes these genetic changes are inherited, meaning that you are born with them. Breast cancer that is caused by inherited genetic changes is called hereditary breast cancer.
There are also certain genetic changes that can raise your risk of breast cancer, including changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These two changes also raise your risk of ovarian and other cancers.
Besides genetics, your lifestyle and the environment can affect your risk of breast cancer.
Who is at risk for breast cancer?
The factors that raise your risk of breast cancer include:
- Older age
- History of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast disease
- Inherited risk of breast cancer, including having BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene changes
- Dense breast tissue
- A reproductive history that leads to more exposure to the estrogen hormone, including
- Menstruating at an early age
- Being at an older age when you first gave birth or never having given birth
- Starting menopause at a later age
- Taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause
- Radiation therapy to the breast or chest
- Drinking alcohol
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A new lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the armpit.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast. It may look like the skin of an orange.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk. The discharge might happen suddenly, be bloody, or happen in only one breast.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin in the nipple area or the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
Your health care provider may use many tools to diagnose breast cancer and figure out which type you have:
- A physical exam, including a clinical breast exam (CBE). This involves checking for any lumps or anything else that seems unusual with the breasts and armpits.
- A medical history.
- Imaging tests, such as a mammogram, an ultrasound, or an MRI.
- Breast biopsy.
- Blood chemistry tests, which measure different substances in the blood, including electrolytes, fats, proteins, glucose (sugar), and enzymes. Some of the specific blood chemistry tests include a basic metabolic panel (BMP), a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), and an electrolyte panel.
If these tests show that you have breast cancer, you will have tests that study the cancer cells. These tests help your provider decide which treatment would be best for you. The tests may include:
- Genetic tests for genetic changes such as in the BRCA and TP53 genes.
- HER2 test. HER2 is a protein involved with cell growth. It is on the outside of all breast cells. If your breast cancer cells have more HER2 than normal, they can grow more quickly and spread to other parts of the body.
- An estrogen and progesterone receptor test. This test measures the amount of estrogen and progesterone (hormones) receptors in cancer tissue. If there are more receptors than normal, the cancer is called estrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive. This type of breast cancer may grow more quickly.
Another step is staging the cancer. Staging involves doing tests to find out whether the cancer has spread within the breast or to other parts of the body. The tests may include other diagnostic imaging tests and a sentinel lymph node biopsy. This biopsy is done to see whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
What are the treatments for breast cancer?
Treatments for breast cancer include:
- Surgery such as
- A mastectomy, which removes the whole breast
- A lumpectomy to remove the cancer and some normal tissue around it, but not the breast itself
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy, which blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow
- Targeted therapy, which uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells
Can breast cancer be prevented?
You may be able to help prevent breast cancer by making healthy lifestyle changes such as:
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Limiting alcohol use
- Getting enough exercisee
- Limiting your exposure to estrogen by
- Breastfeeding your babies if you can
- Limiting hormone therapy
If you are at high risk, your health care provider may suggest that you take certain medicines to lower the risk. Some women at very high risk may decide to get a mastectomy (of their healthy breasts) to prevent breast cancer.
It's also important to get regular mammograms. They may be able to identify breast cancer in the early stages, when it is easier to treat.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
[Learn More in MedlinePlus]
Breast cancer is a disease in which certain cells in the breast become abnormal and multiply uncontrollably to form a tumor. Although breast cancer is much more common in women, this form of cancer can also develop in men. In both women and men, the most common form of breast cancer begins in cells lining the milk ducts (ductal cancer). In women, cancer can also develop in the glands that produce milk (lobular cancer). Most men have little or no lobular tissue, so lobular cancer in men is very rare.
In its early stages, breast cancer usually does not cause pain and may exhibit no noticeable symptoms. As the cancer progresses, signs and symptoms can include a lump or thickening in or near the breast; a change in the size or shape of the breast; nipple discharge, tenderness, or retraction (turning inward); and skin irritation, dimpling, redness, or scaliness. However, these changes can occur as part of many different conditions. Having one or more of these symptoms does not mean that a person definitely has breast cancer.
In some cases, cancerous cells can invade surrounding breast tissue. In these cases, the condition is known as invasive breast cancer. Sometimes, tumors spread to other parts of the body. If breast cancer spreads, cancerous cells most often appear in the bones, liver, lungs, or brain. Tumors that begin at one site and then spread to other areas of the body are called metastatic cancers.
A small percentage of all breast cancers cluster in families. These cancers are described as hereditary and are associated with inherited gene mutations. Hereditary breast cancers tend to develop earlier in life than noninherited (sporadic) cases, and new (primary) tumors are more likely to develop in both breasts.
[Learn More in MedlinePlus]
Breast Cancer-Patient VersionLearn about breast cancer risk factors, symptoms, tests to diagnose, factors affecting prognosis, staging, and treatment.
[Learn More in MedlinePlus]
Breast Cancer SummaryLearn about breast cancer risk factors, symptoms, tests to diagnose, factors affecting prognosis, staging, and treatment.
[Learn More in MedlinePlus]
- FY 2024 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2023 through 9/30/2024
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- FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
- FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016. This was the first year ICD-10-CM was implemented into the HIPAA code set.
 Chronic - a chronic condition code indicates a condition lasting 12 months or longer and its effect on the patient based on one or both of the following criteria:
- The condition results in the need for ongoing intervention with medical products,treatment, services, and special equipment
- The condition places limitations on self-care, independent living, and social interactions.