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Lobular Carcinoma in Situ



Lobules are a normal part of the breast which produces milk. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is the presence and growth of abnormal cells in the lobules of the breast. These abnormal cells do not grow in an uncontrolled manner or spread to other areas of the body like cancer. However, LCIS is considered a risk factor for future breast cancer.

Causes    TOP

It is not clear exactly what causes LCIS. It is probably a combination of genetics and environment.

Risk Factors    TOP

LCIS is more common in premenopausal women, generally between 40-50 years old. Other factors that may increase your chances of LCIS:

  • Family members with breast cancer
  • Increased exposure to estrogen
  • Use of hormone replacement therapy

Symptoms    TOP

LCIS does not have symptoms.

Diagnosis    TOP

LCIS does not appear on imaging tests, nor can it be felt during a manual breast exam. It is generally found by accident during biopsy of other nearby breast tissue.

Treatment    TOP

LCIS does not require treatment.

Frequent follow-up visits and tests to monitor any changes in the breast tissue may be recommended because of the increased risk of breast cancer. If you detect any changes in either breast, call your doctor right away for an appointment.

Other breast cancer prevention treatments may be recommended based on your overall risk of developing breast cancer. If you have a high risk of developing future breast cancer, your doctor may recommend:

  • Medications—To block estrogen receptors on breast tissue cells.
  • Surgery—A double mastectomy with reconstruction may be an option under special circumstances. It is generally considered to be an aggressive option.

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of having these treatments.

Prevention    TOP

There are no current guidelines to prevent LCIS because the cause is unknown.


American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute


Canadian Cancer Society


LCIS—lobular carcinoma in situ. Breast Cancer website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Update February 18, 2017. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Lobular carcinoma in situ. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated August 18, 2016. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated September 20, 2017. Accessed January 29, 2018.
Venkitaraman, R. Lobular neoplasia of the breast. Breast J. 2010;16(5):519-528.
Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014

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