Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
Learn More About Lobular Carcinoma In Situ: Chat with Us | Email Us
When abnormal cells form in the lobules, or milk-producing glands, of the breast, it is called lobular carcinoma in situ, or LCIS. This uncommon condition is not a type of breast cancer. Rather, women with LCIS have a greater risk of developing invasive breast cancer in either breast. About 25% of women with LCIS will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. This subsequent breast cancer may occur in either breast, and may appear in the lobules or in the ducts.
Because LCIS is not actually cancer, treatment may not be recommended. If you are diagnosed with lobular carcinoma, you may want to discuss more frequent breast cancer screening with your doctor. Increasing surveillance can help ensure that any subsequent breast cancer is detected in its earliest, most treatable stages.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ Risk Factors
Anyone can get LCIS. Factors that may increase risk include:
- Gender: Because male breasts do not have lobules, men rarely develop lobular carcinoma.
- Age: LCIS is more common among women in their early 40s who have not been through menopause
- Family history: Having several female relatives who have had breast cancer, especially those with a mutation of the BRCA2 gene.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Combination estrogen-progestin after menopause may increase a woman’s risk of developing DCIS.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ Symptoms
LCIS does not cause symptoms and cannot be seen with a mammogram. This condition is usually found when a doctor is doing a breast biopsy for another reason, such as to investigate an unrelated breast lump. If a person has LCIS, the breast cells will appear abnormal under a microscope.
LCIS is not cancer, and many women with LCIS will not ever develop cancer. For women with LCIS, treatment options may include:
- Surveillance: The most common approach for women diagnosed with LCIS is increased surveillance for breast cancer. This can include multiple physical exams each year and one or two mammograms each year. This careful monitoring means that if breast cancer does develop, your doctor can find it at the earliest, most treatable stage.
- Surgery: Rarely, women with LCIS may choose to undergo a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Usually, only men or women with a family history of breast cancer and/or a known genetic mutation that increases the risk of developing breast cancer will choose this approach.
- Hormone Therapy: Studies have shown that taking hormone therapy reduces the risk of developing breast cancer among postmenopausal women with LCIS.
Your doctor will discuss all of these lobular carcinoma treatment options with you to help you select the approach that is most appropriate for you.