Lobular neoplasia of the breast is a non-cancerous breast condition that develops in the lobules (milk-producing glands) of the breast. The condition usually occurs when the cells in these lobules increase in number accompanied by a change in behavior and appearance. Lobular neoplasia usually occurs among women who are in their 40s and 50s or older. It can also develop in men, but this is quite rare.
Types of Lobular Neoplasia of the Breast
There are two common types of lobular neoplasia. These are Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia (ALH), and Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS). Both ALH and LCIS when examined under a microscope appear similar, which makes it difficult to differentiate the two. LCIS means that the breast changes only affect the lobules, and do not spread to the surrounding tissue.
Sometimes the condition can be made up of larger than normal cells, which is then referred to as Pleomorphic Lobular Carcinoma in situ (PLCIS). Breast specialists sometimes describe both ALH and LCIS as classical lobular neoplasia.
Diagnosis of Lobular Neoplasia of the Breast
Lobular neoplasia of the breast does not present any symptoms or show up during a routine mammogram. It is mostly found during a breast biopsy which might have been done due to another breast problem one might be having.
Treatment of ALH and LCIS (Classical Lobular Neoplasia)
Since every case differs from the next, there is no standard treatment of Lobular Neoplasia of the Breast. Each treatment option depends on each individual case. If the diagnosis is as a result of a core biopsy, removal of more tissue from the affected area might be recommended. This is in order to find out if any of it is affected by cancerous cells. This may be done through:
- Core Biopsy where a tissue sample is removed from breast using a hollow needle for analysis
- Excision Biopsy: Breast tissue samples are removed for analysis under a microscope
- Vacuum Assisted Excision Biopsy: Here, a hollow probe connected to a vacuum device is used to remove samples of the affected tissue for more analysis
Treatment of Pleomorphic Lobular Carcinoma in situ (PLCIS)
If the biopsy analysis come back confirming that presence of PLCIS, then a surgery to remove the affected tissues with a surrounding margin of healthy tissue may be recommended. This is because there is a higher risk of cancer with PLCIS diagnosis. Actually, its treatment is similar to that of Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a form of breast cancer. A further treatment with hormone therapy and radiotherapy may be recommended.
Does Lobular Neoplasia of the Breast Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?
Being diagnosed with any form of breast lump or breast condition can make one feel uneasy, thinking they are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Fortunately, one may never develop cancer with with Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia (ALH) or Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS). Nevertheless, being diagnosed with either one can increase the chances of developing breast cancer compared to a person who has not been diagnosed.
On the other hand, if you are diagnosed with Pleomorphic Lobular Carcinoma in situ (PLCIS), then the chances of developing breast cancer become higher, compared to ALH and LCIS cases.
However, some women who test positive for lobular neoplasia, and have a history of breast cancer in the family, or tests show a strong gene mutation, they usually opt for a risk-reducing double mastectomy.
To stay breast aware, you should continue with routine breast screening, and if you are concerned about any changes that your breasts might have, it is recommended you visit your doctor at the earliest.
At King’s College Hospital London Dubai, our Breast Care Clinic caters to every type of breast cancer and breast conditions. If you are facing any kind of abnormal changes to your breast, regardless how small, get in touch for a consultation with one of our breast doctors. For more information on breast cancer and breast care, book an appointment below.
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