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    Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): An Extensive Overview

    Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

    Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a condition that indicates the presence of abnormal cells in the lobules of the breast. Although not a cancer itself, LCIS is considered a marker for increased risk of developing breast cancer in the future. It’s often detected during a biopsy for another breast condition or during a mammogram.

    Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS) is a relatively unknown topic for many individuals outside the medical community. This may be attributed, in part, to the complexity of the disease and its sporadic occurrence rate. However, given its potential ramifications on healthcare, a comprehensive understanding of LCIS becomes crucial. This article seeks to bridge this gap in knowledge.

    Understanding Carcinoma

    The term “carcinoma” refers typically to a kind of cancer that starts in cells making up the skin or the tissue lining organs, such as the liver or kidneys. There are various types of carcinoma including squamous cell, adenocarcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and ductal carcinoma in situ.

    Each cancer type is unique and has its distinct characteristics. However, they share a common factor in that they begin in the cells and gradually proliferate, potentially leading to significant health problems if not diagnosed and treated promptly.

    Definition of Lobular Carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

    LCIS, derived from the Latin ‘in situ’ meaning ‘in its original place’, is a condition where abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast- the milk-producing glands. Although LCIS itself is not breast cancer, it is considered a marker of increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer in either breast in the future.

    The Biology of LCIS

    Lobular cells are present in the breast’s milk-producing glands. Occasionally, these cells may undergo abnormal changes and growth to form LCIS. Experts maintain that LCIS starts when cells in the breast lobules grow and multiply excessively, resulting in more cells than normal. These cells are abnormal but do not grow into the breast tissue, remaining ‘in situ’.

    Being a non-invasive form of breast disease, LCIS indicates an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer in both breasts.

    Diagnosis of Lobular Carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

    Often women with LCIS do not show symptoms, and LCIS is usually found when a biopsy is performed for another breast concern. Your doctor may advise a biopsy if routine mammograms disclose unusual findings. The diagnosis of LCIS is confirmed via breast biopsy, either a core needle biopsy or a surgical biopsy.

    The biopsy results are analyzed in a lab, where a pathologist studies the tissue to determine the presence and extent of LCIS. If LCIS is detected, additional tests may be required to rule out invasive cancer.

    Treatment and Management of LCIS

    As LCIS is not cancer but a marker for potential future breast cancer, treatment can range from careful monitoring to more aggressive treatment strategies like hormone therapy or surgery. A patient’s overall health, personal history, and family history of breast cancer are factors to consider when developing a treatment plan.

    Post-diagnosis management strategies may also vary extensively, encompassing taking medicines to lower the risk of invasive breast cancer, regular imaging tests, undertaking lifestyle changes, or having regular mammogram check-ups.

    Prevalence and Risk Factors of LCIS

    LCIS is not a common condition, but its prevalence has risen alongside the increased use of breast screening. Women who have been diagnosed with LCIS are 7-12 times more likely to develop cancer in either breast. Conversely, risk factors for LCIS are not abundantly clear due to its rarity. However, some studies have identified factors such as age, family history of breast cancer, and hormone replacement therapy as pointers towards increased risk.


    In conclusion, understanding LCIS, while seemingly complex, provides pivotal information on the potential risk of developing breast cancer. Continued research and advancements in medical technology are already increasing the medical community’s understanding of diagnosing and managing LCIS effectively.


    • What is lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

    LCIS is a condition where abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast but do not grow into the breast tissue.

    • Is LCIS considered breast cancer?

    LCIS itself is not breast cancer, but an indicator of an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer in either breast in the future.

    • What is the general prognosis for someone diagnosed with LCIS?

    LCIS is not an invasive cancer, and therefore survival rates are normal. However, it is an indicator of an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the future. Early detection and proactive treatment significantly improve the prognosis.

    • Is surgery always necessary for LCIS?

    Not necessarily. Treatment for LCIS varies. Some doctors may recommend regular monitoring, while others may suggest surgery, particularly if the patient has other risk factors for breast cancer.

    • What are some potential risk factors for developing LCIS?

    While it’s not explicitly clear, some studies have identified factors including age, family history of breast cancer, and hormone replacement therapy as increasing the risk.

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