Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)

What is Lobular Carcinoma in Situ?

One red flag that could signal the development of breast cancer is Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS).

LCIS is not a cancer, rather the condition creates irregular lobule cells—or cells in the glands that create breast milk. However, even though these irregular cells do not spread, it is important for women with LCIS to watch out for another condition: invasive breast cancer. LCIS is mainly seen in women who are still menstruating and can be caused by genetic mutations in cells.

What are the Symptoms of Lobular Carcinoma in Situ?

Women with LCIS often don’t have any discernible signs of the condition—even when breasts are x-rayed. LCIS is usually identified when there is another reason for a breast biopsy, such as a suspicious nodule or a mass on a mammogram film.

Lack of microcalcification (typical indicator of the presence of breast cancer cells) leads LCIS to often go undiagnosed.

How is Lobular Carcinoma in Situ Treated?

There are usually no treatments for LCIS. However, doctors do recommend that women with the condition be more proactive about their self-exams, regular mammograms, regular doctor appointments, and so on.

If a woman is at increased risk for tumors in general or has a family history of breast cancer, then some medications—like raloxifene—can be used to lower the risk. If a woman has an extremely high risk of cancer developing, she may want to undergo a preventative mastectomy.

Medications like asonastrozole, exemestane, raloxifene or ortamoxifen can help prevent the formation of LCIS and are sometimes prescribed to women who are at risk.

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Last Reviewed:
October 06, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017