Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma
Definition of terms:
Carcinoma - Cancer cells that start
in the surface layers or lining of the ducts
Hormonal Therapy - Treatment with hormones or anti-hormonal
medications Infiltrating - Cells that go through the
walls of the lobules
Invasive - Cells that have grown into surrounding tissues
Lymph Nodes - Pea-like areas in the lymphatic system
that act as filters for the body's cellular waste; lymph nodes under the
arms filter the waste from the majority of breast tissues
Lobular - Found in the lower parts of the ducts where
the milk is produced
Malignant - Cancerous; a threat to the body
Mastectomy - Surgical removal of a breast
Metastasis - Spread of cancer to other parts of the body
Tumor - Excessive growth of cells that create a lump;
may be cancerous or non-cancerous.
lobular carcinoma accounts for about 5 percent of all malignant,
invasive cancers. It occurs most frequently in women between the ages
of 45 and 56. The tumor grows in the terminal (last part) of the lobules
where milk is produced. It usually does not show up on mammography and
may feel like a thickening in the upper-outer quarter of the breast (from
the nipple to under the arm) as it infiltrates the walls of the lobules.
In about 30% of cases, this cancer is frequently found in the opposite
breast. It is often found in other parts of the same breast (multicentric).
Late signs of a large tumor area may be the retraction or puckering of
the skin over the area. Most tumors are positive for estrogen and progesterone
receptors and thus respond well to hormonal therapy. Infiltrating lobular
carcinoma sometimes has an increased incidence of spreading to the uterus
Surgery may range from a mastectomy to bilateral (both
breasts) modified radical mastectomy because of the high risk of cancer
being in other parts of the breast and because it is frequently found
in the opposite breast. Treatment options will vary according to the size
of the tumor, lymph node involvement, estrogen/progesterone receptor status,
age and menopausal status of the patient.
For more information, please call The Connie Dwyer Breast
Center at (973) 877-5189.
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