All you need to know about the rare lobular breast cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 27, 2015
Quick Bites

  • Invasive lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer.
  • It starts in the milk-producing glands.
  • This type of cancer has potential to spread to other parts.
  • Detection at early stages is tough.

Invasive lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk-producing glands of the breast, also known as lobules, is called.

Invasive cancer indicates that the cancer cells have broken out of their starting lobule and can spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body.

Although, it is common in breast cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma does not typically form a lump. Instead, changes in the breast that feels more like a thickening or fullness in one part of the breast and is different from surrounding breast tissue can be experienced.

Invasive lobular cancer

Identifying the signs

Like any other type of cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma must be detected at its earliest stages. However, in its initial stage, this type of cancer may cause no signs or symptoms. As it grows in size, invasive lobular carcinoma starts showing the following signs:
Thickened area in part of breast

Development of new area of fullness or swelling in the breast

Change in texture or appearance of skin over breast which looks like dimpling or thickening

Formation of invasive lobular carcinoma  

Formation of invasive lobular carcinoma is believed to begin when cells in one or more milk-producing glands of the breast develop mutations in their DNA. These mutations are responsible for uncontrolled cell growth, causing cells to divide and grow at a rapid rate. Spreading of cancer cells to other parts of the body primarily depends on the aggressiveness of the cancer type.

Invasive lobular cancer

Are you at risk?

Certain factors add to the risk of developing invasive lobular carcinoma cells more than others. Find out the factors that may increase your risk.

Being female

Although women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, men can also suffer from the condition.

Older age

Ageing plays a significant role in development of breast cancer. Women who suffer from invasive lobular carcinoma are usually found to be a few years older than women who are diagnosed with other types of breast cancer.

Postmenopausal hormone use

Female body uses estrogen and progesterone during and after menopause, which increases risk of invasive lobular carcinoma. It is commonly believed by researchers that these hormones boost tumour growth and also make detection of tumour more difficult on mammograms.

Image source: Getty Images

Read more on Understand Breast Cancer.

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