ICD-10 Breast Cancer Coding Guide for Healthcare Professionals

ICD-10, or the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, is a coding system used to classify diseases and other health conditions. It is used by healthcare professionals worldwide to report diagnoses and procedures to insurance companies and other payers.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, and it is important for healthcare professionals to be able to code it correctly. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of ICD-10 breast cancer coding, including the different codes that can be used, as well as best practices for coding.

ICD-10 Codes for Breast Cancer

The ICD-10 code for breast cancer is C50. This code is further subdivided into more specific codes based on the location of the tumor, the type of tumor, and other factors.

The following table lists the most common ICD-10 codes for breast cancer:

C50.0Malignant neoplasm of nipple and areola
C50.1Malignant neoplasm of central portion of breast
C50.2Malignant neoplasm of upper-inner quadrant of breast
C50.3Malignant neoplasm of lower-inner quadrant of breast
C50.4Malignant neoplasm of upper-outer quadrant of breast
C50.5Malignant neoplasm of lower-outer quadrant of breast
C50.6Malignant neoplasm of axillary tail of breast
C50.8Overlapping lesion of breast
C50.9Breast, unspecified

Choosing the Correct ICD-10 Code

When choosing the correct ICD-10 code for breast cancer, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • The location of the tumor: The ICD-10 code for breast cancer is further subdivided into more specific codes based on the location of the tumor. For example, if the tumor is located in the nipple and areola, the code C50.0 would be used.
  • The type of tumor: The ICD-10 code for breast cancer also depends on the type of tumor. For example, if the tumor is a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the code C50.0 would be used. If the tumor is an invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), the code C50.9 would be used.
  • Other factors: There are other factors that may also affect the choice of ICD-10 code for breast cancer, such as the stage of the cancer and the presence of any metastases.

If you are unsure which ICD-10 code to use, it is always best to consult with a coding expert.

Best Practices for ICD-10 Breast Cancer Coding

Here are some best practices for ICD-10 breast cancer coding:

  • Be as specific as possible: When choosing an ICD-10 code for breast cancer, be as specific as possible based on the information in the patient’s medical record. This will help to ensure that the code is accurate and that the patient’s care is reimbursed properly.
  • Use additional codes when necessary: In some cases, it may be necessary to use additional ICD-10 codes to describe the patient’s breast cancer diagnosis. For example, if the patient has a breast cancer that has metastasized to the lungs, the code C78.3 would be used in addition to the code for the breast cancer itself.
  • Review your coding regularly: It is important to review your breast cancer coding regularly to ensure that you are using the correct codes and that you are up-to-date on the latest coding guidelines.


ICD-10 breast cancer coding is an important part of the healthcare system. By following the best practices outlined in this guide, healthcare professionals can ensure that they are coding breast cancer accurately and that their patients are receiving the care they need.

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