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LCIS - lobular carcinoma in situ

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This page tells you about lobular carcinoma in situ of the breast (LCIS). There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

LCIS – lobular carcinoma in situ

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) means that there are cell changes inside the breast lobules. It is also known as lobular neoplasia. This is not cancer. But having LCIS means that you have an increased risk of getting breast cancer in the future. Even so, most women with LCIS will not get breast cancer. Men can develop LCIS but this is very rare.

It is important to note that there is a type of breast cancer called invasive lobular breast cancer, and this is different to LCIS.

Treatment for LCIS

Most people with LCIS will not get breast cancer. So you don't usually need treatment. But because of the increased risk of breast cancer your doctor is likely to suggest keeping a close eye on you with

  • A breast examination every 6 to 12 months
  • A breast X-ray (mammogram) every 1 to 2 years

If a cancer does start to develop, the monitoring should pick it up at a very early stage so that you can have the breast cancer treatment you need as early as possible.

Your doctor may suggest that you take a type of hormone therapy to lower the chance of breast cancer if you have LCIS.

 

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What lobular carcinoma in situ is

If you have lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), it means that cells inside some of your breast lobules have started to become abnormal. It is not a cancer. Doctors refer to it as lobular neoplasia. The cells are all contained within the inner lining of the breast lobules. It is often present in both breasts.

Having LCIS means that you have an increased risk of getting invasive breast cancer in either breast in the future. Even so, most women with LCIS will not develop breast cancer. Men can develop LCIS but this is very rare.

LCIS

LCIS does not show up on breast X-rays (mammograms) and usually does not cause symptoms. It is often diagnosed by chance when you have a breast biopsy for something else. Or it may be found when you have a breast lump removed and the cells are examined in the laboratory. LCIS is more common in women who have not had their menopause. About 525 women are diagnosed with LCIS each year in Great Britain.

Please note that there is a type of breast cancer called invasive lobular breast cancer, and this is different to LCIS.

 

Treatment for LCIS

Most women with LCIS will not get breast cancer. So you usually don't need to have any treatment. But as there is an increased risk of breast cancer your doctor is likely to suggest keeping a close eye on you with

  • A breast examination every 6 to 12 months
  • A breast X-ray (mammogram) every 1 to 2 years

If a cancer does start to develop, the monitoring should pick it up at a very early stage so that you can have the breast cancer treatment you need as early as possible.

Your doctor may suggest that you take a type of hormone therapy to lower the chance of breast cancer if you have LCIS.

 

Research into LCIS

Results from the IBIS 2 (prevention) trial has shown that taking the hormone therapy anastrozole (Arimidex) for 5 years reduces the risk of breast cancer in post menopausal women who are at high risk of getting the disease.

The GLACIER study is collecting blood samples to try to find out which genes increase the risk of LCIS, and which women with LCIS are more likely to develop breast cancer. 

You can find detailed information about trials for LCIS on our clinical trials database. Choose 'breast' from the dropdown menu of cancer types and type LCIS into the free text search box. If you want to see all trials, tick the boxes for closed trials and results.

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Updated: 8 November 2012