Non-Cancerous Breast Conditions

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Adenosis

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) may also be called lobular neoplasia. In this breast change, cells that look like cancer cells are growing in the milk-producing glands of the breast (called the lobules), but they don’t grow through the wall of the lobules. LCIS will not always become invasive lobular carcinoma if it isn’t treated. But having LCIS increases your risk of developing an invasive breast cancer in either breast later on, so close follow-up is very important.

Diagnosis

LCIS is diagnosed by a biopsy (where tissue is removed and checked under a microscope). Often, LCIS does not cause a tumor that can be felt or changes that can be seen on a mammogram. Most often, LCIS is found when a biopsy is done for another breast problem that is nearby. More information about pathology reports showing LCIS can be found in Understanding Your Pathology Report: Lobular Carcinoma In Situ.

Treatment

In most cases, LCIS does not need to be treated. Still, women with LCIS should make sure they have regular mammograms and doctor visits. Some women with LCIS choose to take medicine to help lower their risk of breast cancer. More detailed information on this can be found in Medicines to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk.

A certain kind of LCIS, called pleomorphic, may be more likely to turn into invasive cancer than most kinds of LCIS. Some doctors feel that this kind of LCIS needs to be removed completely with surgery.

Because LCIS is linked to an increased risk of cancer in both breasts, some women with LCIS choose to have a bilateral simple mastectomy (removal of both breasts but not axillary lymph nodes) to lower this risk. This is more often considered if they have other risk factors for breast cancer, such as a strong family history. This may be followed by delayed breast reconstruction.

How does LCIS affect breast cancer risk?

Women with LCIS have a 7 to 11 times higher risk of developing invasive cancer in either breast. For this reason, women with LCIS should make sure they have regular mammograms and doctor visits. Some women with LCIS choose to take medicine to lower their risk of breast cancer. More detailed information on this can be found in Medicines to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk.


Last Medical Review: 03/16/2015
Last Revised: 04/21/2016