Lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that first occurs in the breast lobules (milk producing sacs). When this type of cancer spreads to other tissues, lymph nodes, or beyond the breast, it is called invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC).
Compared to other types of breast cancer, lobular carcinoma more often starts as many tumors in both breasts. However, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a noninvasive form of lobular carcinoma. This precancerous finding is uncommon. LCIS has no symptoms, and it does not usually show up on a mammogram. In most cases, doctors find LCIS as a result of a biopsy for another breast condition.
At Dignity Health of Arizona, we know facing cancer can be frightening. We are here to help you every step of the way. If you would like to learn more about cancer care for lobular carcinoma in Arizona, Find a Doctor online or call (888) 380-9737.
Lobular Carcinoma: Risk Factors & Symptoms
Lobular carcinoma is the second most common type of breast cancer. There are many things that increase your risk for breast cancer, most of which are out of your control.
Common risk factors for lobular carcinoma include:
- Older age
- Female gender
- Caucasian race
- Family/personal history of breast cancer
- Early menstruation (younger than 12)
- Late menopause (o)lder than 55
- Dense breast tissue
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol
- BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations
- Chest radiation therapy
Unlike other forms of cancer, lobular carcinoma does not appear as a lump with well-defined borders. Instead, look for changes in the breast. Signs to look for include:
- Breast swelling
- Non-milk nipple discharge
- Thickening/hardening of the breast tissue
- Inverted nipple
- Change in size, shape, or appearance of the breast or nipple
- Skin changes on nipple or breast
How Lobular Carcinoma is Diagnosed
If you experience changes in your breast that seem suspicious, your doctor will likely recommend taking a sample of cells, known as a biopsy. Your biopsy results can tell your doctor if cancer is present, as well as the the type, grade, HER2 status, and hormone receptor status of any cancer cells. This information will guide your doctor in creating a treatment plan specifically for you.
Treating Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: What to Expect at Dignity Health
The stage of your cancer will determine the extent of your treatment. The main treatment for ILC is surgery — either lumpectomy or mastectomy. A lumpectomy removes only the tumor while a mastectomy removes the entire breast. Following a lumpectomy your doctor will probably recommend radiation therapy. Other treatments for ICL include:
Because it is precancerous, LCIS is treated in a different way. Your doctor will most likely suggest watchful waiting. Depending on your case, hormone therapy or prophylactic (p)reventive mastectomy may be necessary to prevent breast cancer.
Cancer patients get specialized care with humankindness from Dignity Health for lobular carcinoma in Arizona.