Definition

What is lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is an uncommon condition in which abnormal cells form in the lobules or milk glands in the breast. LCIS isn’t cancer. But being diagnosed with LCIS indicates that you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

LCIS usually doesn’t show up on mammograms. The condition is most often discovered as a result of a breast biopsy done for another reason, such as a suspicious breast lump or an abnormal mammogram.

Women with LCIS have an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer in either breast. If you’re diagnosed with LCIS, your doctor may recommend increased breast cancer screening and may ask you to consider treatments to reduce your risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

How common is lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is not common. LCIS is usually diagnosed before menopause, most often between the ages of 40 and 50. Less than 10% of women diagnosed with LCIS have already gone through menopause. LCIS is extremely uncommon in men. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) doesn’t cause signs or symptoms. Rather, your doctor might discover incidentally that you have LCIS — for instance, after a biopsy to assess a breast lump or an abnormal area, such as microcalcifications, found on a mammogram.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice a change in your breasts, such as a lump, an area of puckered or otherwise unusual skin, a thickened region under the skin, or nipple discharge.

Ask your doctor when you should consider breast cancer screening and how often it should be repeated. Most groups recommend routine breast cancer screening beginning in your 40s. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.

Causes

What causes lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

It’s not clear what causes LCIS. LCIS begins when cells in a milk-producing gland (lobule) of a breast develop genetic mutations that cause the cells to appear abnormal. The abnormal cells remain in the lobule and don’t extend into, or invade, nearby breast tissue.

LCIS isn’t cancer and it doesn’t develop into cancer. But having LCIS increases your risk of breast cancer and makes it more likely that you could develop invasive breast cancer.

The risk of breast cancer in women diagnosed with LCIS is thought to be approximately 20 percent. Put another way, for every 100 women diagnosed with LCIS, 20 will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 80 won’t be diagnosed with breast cancer. The risk of developing breast cancer for women in general is thought to be 12 percent. Put another way, for every 100 women in the general population, 12 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

Your individual risk of breast cancer is based on many factors. Talk to your doctor to better understand your personal risk of breast cancer.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

There are many risk factors for lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), such as:

  • You have a family history of breast cancer. If one or more close relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have an increased risk of LCIS.
  • You’ve taken hormone replacement therapy for menopause. Women who have used hormone replacement therapy for more than three to five years to help cope with menopausal signs and symptoms may have an increased risk of LCIS.
  • You’re a woman in your early 40s. Though LCIS is uncommon, it’s most likely to be detected in women in their early 40s who haven’t yet experienced menopause. However, LCIS is becoming more common in older women who have undergone menopause.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) diagnosed?

LCIS is diagnosed by a biopsy. (Breast tissue is removed and checked in the lab.) Often, LCIS does not cause a lump that can be felt or changes that can be seen on a mammogram. In most cases, LCIS is found when a biopsy is done for another breast problem that’s nearby.

How is lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) treated?

In most cases, LCIS does not need to be treated. Sometimes if LCIS is found using a needle biopsy, the doctor might recommend that it be removed completely (with an excisional biopsy or some other type of breast-conserving surgery) to help make sure that LCIS was the only thing there. This is especially true if the LCIS is described as pleomorphic or if it has necrosis (areas of dead cells), in which case it might be more likely to grow quickly.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS):

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink a day, if you choose to drink.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven’t been active lately, ask your doctor whether it’s OK, and start slowly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your current weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this.Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise. Aim to lose weight slowly — about 1 or 2 pounds (about .5 or 1.0 kilograms) a week.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: November 21, 2017 | Last Modified: November 21, 2017