What we currently call breast cancer should be thought of as 10 completely separate diseases, according to an international study which has been described as a “landmark”.
The categories could improve treatment by tailoring drugs for a patient’s exact type of breast cancer and help predict survival more accurately.
The study in Nature analysed breast cancers from 2,000 women.
It will take at least three years for the findings to be used in hospitals.
He added: “Our results will pave the way for doctors in the future to diagnose the type of breast cancer a woman has, the types of drugs that will work and those that won’t, in a much more precise way than is currently possible.”