Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)
By Priyanka Varma
Jan. 26th, 2022
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is the presence of atypical cells in the lobules of the breast which are the milk-producing glands at the end of breast ducts (Fig 1).
LCIS is considered to be both a high risk factor and a non-obligate precursor of breast cancer . LCIS is an incidental finding on breast biopsy and hence it is difficult to estimate its incidence . Although LCIS is a relatively rare finding, it is seen in approximately 0.5% to 4% of benign breast biopsies . One estimate is that the lifetime risk of developing invasive breast cancer is 30-40% for women with LCIS, versus a lifetime risk of 12.5% for the average woman . A National Cancer database study identified that the median age of females diagnosed with LCIS was 52 years (range 21-90 years ) . Older age was associated with a higher risk of subsequent development of breast cancer .
Histologically, in addition to classic LCIS, there can be two other varieties, pleomorphic and florid LCIS . Pleomorphic and florid are also sometimes called “non-classic” or “variant” LCIS.
Earlier, mastectomy was recommended for LCIS patients; however, currently the preferred management is observation and active surveillance along with offered chemoprevention. The NCCN guidelines recommend a follow-up every 6 to 12 months with a physical exam as well as annual diagnostic mammogram for patients diagnosed with LCIS. Chemoprevention with Tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors is shown to support risk reduction for breast cancer. LCIS has been removed from the tumor in situ category in the latest cancer staging system. Currently there is no consensus with respect to management recommendation for pleomorphic LCIS. It is recommended to exercise caution in an aggressive approach to management with excision till negative margins or performing mastectomy .
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