Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is rare condition of abnormal cells growth. The abnormal cells grow in the lobules in the breast. This condition is not a cancer, but if a person is diagnosed with LCIS it means that the risk for developing a breast cancer is greatly increased.

The lobular carcinoma in situ is usually unnoticeable on mammograms. Often, LCIS is discovered after a breast biopsy is done in order to diagnose other suspicious condition as breast lump or strange mammogram.

Women diagnosed with LCIS are at greater risk to develop invasive breast cancer. It is recommendable for them to have an increased breast cancer screening and to consider treatments that can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.



There are no symptoms associated with lobular carcinoma in situ. The condition usually doesn’t cause any signs. It is often discovered while examining other abnormal conditions in the area.

However, if change in the breasts can be noticed (a lump, a puckered area, thickened part under the skin or nipple discharge) it is good to visit the doctor.

A routine breast cancer screening should be taken into consideration in order to follow and monitor any possible changes.



It is not well known what causes the lobular carcinoma in situ to form. It is formed because of a genetic mutation of the cells in the milk-producing lobules in the breasts. The cells appear abnormal and remain in the lobule i.e. in situ (in place). They do not extend or invade other parts of the breast tissue. LCIS doesn’t progress into a cancer but makes the risk of developing one bigger. Some statistics show that the risk of developing breast cancer in women diagnosed with LCIS is almost 20%. Out of 100 women with LCIS, 20 will be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, each woman has individual risk of developing breast cancer that depends on many factors.


Risk factors

The risk of having LCIS can be increased due to the following factors:

  • Family history-if some close relatives had breast cancer the risk of developing LCIS is bigger
  • Hormone replacement therapy-if women used hormonal therapy during menopause for more than 3 to 5 years, the risk of LCIS is increased
  • Age-most of the LCIS cases include women in their early 40s are mo



When deciding whether to treat lobular carcinoma in situ, a lot of factor should be considered as well as the patient’s personal preferences.

The treatment approaches can be: observation, medication or surgery.

Careful observation with frequent tests and monitoring of any cancer signs through: regular breast self-exams, clinical breast exams twice a year, screening every year and other techniques as MRI.

Another treatment may be taking preventative medicines to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Finally, a surgery to remove the part with LCIS may also be an option. LCIS can be removed during a biopsy or an extra surgery if bigger part of tissue has to be removed. Regular examination will still be needed, as the risk of developing breast cancer won’t go away. There is also a possibility for preventative mastectomy during which both breasts are removed to diminish the high risk that exists in some cases.


Some preventative self-measures that can help reduce the risk are:

  • Limit alcohol use to one drink a day, or stop drinking it at all
  • Have a healthy weight
  • Eat less calories
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day most of the days in the week