Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)

black female nurse explaining to white female patient

What is LCIS?

LCIS is not cancer. It is when there are abnormal cells in the lobules (milk-producing glands) in the breast. Having LCIS means you have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. It doesn’t mean you will definitely get cancer.

Most women with LCIS won't get breast cancer. Both women and men can get LCIS but it is very rare in men.

LCIS is also called lobular neoplasia. It isn’t cancer but looks like cancer cells growing in the milk-producing glands of the breast.

- Image courtesy of CRUK / Wikimedia commons

Diagram of LCIS - lobular carcinoma in situ

Most women with LCIS will not get breast cancer. So you usually don't need to have any treatment.

How is LCIS treated?

LCIS doesn’t usually need any active treatment. Usually you will be monitored to check for any signs of an invasive cancer, which can spread beyond the lobules into the breast tissue. 


You will have regular breast exams (every 6-12 months) and screening X-rays (mammograms) every year. You will also be asked to check your own breasts regularly, so you can spot any changes. 

Hormone therapy

Your doctor may suggest you take a type of hormonal therapy to lower the chance of developing breast cancer in the future.  

Risk-reducing surgery

If you have other risk factors for breast cancer, such as a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation or a strong family history of the disease, your doctor might talk to you about having your breasts removed to avoid cancer developing. This is called a double mastectomy. 

For more information

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