The Truths About Lobular Breast Cancer and Its Symptoms
Lobular breast cancer is the second most experienced and common type after ductal carcinoma for women. Of all 100,000 new cases diagnosed every year, approximately 15% – 20% are diagnosed with this type of cancer. Having this disease is already devastating and frightening, but lobular cancer? One may be wondering what is it and is there any difference as compared to the other type of cancer?
About 50% of such cancer cases are caused by genetic material being mutated. Older age women and those who have been on a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have a higher risk of contracting it. Those who are genetic susceptible because of a condition known as “hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome” which increases and causes breast and stomach cancer risk, also have a high risk of suffering from this cancer.
Types of Lobular Breast Cancer
There are 2 types of lobular breast cancer: invasion or non-invasive. The invasive type occurs when the cancer has spread beyond the starting point which is in the lobules which produces milk and attacks the surrounding breast tissue. In this invasive type, there is a danger that the cancerous cells to spread to other parts of the body. It is less common and more difficult to detect. However, lobular breast cancer has a better chance of prognosis.
“In-situ” or non-invasive lobular breast cancer means that the cancerous cells have not spread beyond the starting location.
Invasive cancer starts when cells grow abnormally in one of the milk glands. In the beginning stage, these cells stay within the lobules and have not spread. This is also known as LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in Situ). These cancerous cells break out of the lobules at some point which develops into ILC (Invasive Lobular Carcinoma).
Lobular Breast Cancer Symptoms
The symptoms in such kind of cancer are not distinct. One will not be able to feel the lump by normal BSE (Breast Self Exam) which is a normal method where one discovers the cancer. An invasive lobular breast cancer is more likely to go undetected by a mammogram. When discovered, tumors found are usually bigger as compared to other cancers. However, this type of cancer usually has a more positive outlook. The symptoms include:
• A part of the breast has thickened
• Fullness or swelling in a portion of the breast
• Change in the skin’s texture and appearance, such as dimpling or thickening of the skin
• Retraction of the nipple (inward nipple)