Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)
all the types of breast cancer, lobular carcinoma in situ is not a true cancer. Rather it is described as an area (or groups) of abnormal cellular growth
which increases the risk of a person developing full blown invasive cancer later on in life. These abnormal cells are growing in the lobules which are the milk producing
glands connected to the milk ducts in the breast. Let’s discuss
more on this type of breast cancer and learn what should be known about this condition.
Again the important
thing to note is that as much as it is referred to as a type of breast cancer, it is more of a precursor to
breast cancer. Since these areas are not made up of cancer cells
per se, the description is more appropriate to call it a lobular neoplasia rather than a lobular
carcinoma. A neoplasia is a collection of abnormal cells which may
eventually turn cancerous. And the condition is referred to as in
situ because the abnormal growth tends to stay inside of the lobules and does not spread to other
areas. People who are affected with this condition do show a higher
than average risk of eventually developing breast cancer.
LCIS is very rare in
men. It tends to affect women who are between the ages of 40 and 50
and who have not gone through menopause. Less than 10% of women who
have already gone through menopause tend to develop this disease.
This type of breast
cancer is considered rare but we really don’t know how extensive it is because the condition is very difficult
to diagnose. It does exhibit physical signs and does not even
normally show up on a mammogram. It only tends to be discovered as
part of a biopsy for another reason or condition.
As indicated earlier,
LCIS is not considered a true cancer but rather a precancerous condition which may never develop into
cancer. However people with this condition do tend to show a higher
risk for developing breast cancer later in life than others. It has
been estimated that the lifetime risk is 30 to 40% for those who have LCIS versus 12.5% for women who have never
experienced this condition before. And the risk is not just over a
few years but rather over 15, 20 years or even more.
The treatment for lobule
carcinoma in situ does not involve surgery or other cancer related treatments. The patient is watched carefully on a regular to test for the presence of
breast cancer. The patient may also be prescribed medications such
as tamoxifen or Evista which have been found to lower the risk of LCIS patients developing breast
In extreme cases some
women elect to have both breasts removed in order to avoid the risk of ever developing some form of breast
cancer. This is an extreme measure but is sometimes taken by people
with a strong genetic predisposition to the disease. Otherwise this
condition is something to watch but nothing of any great concern.