What are the histologic characteristics of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)?

Updated: May 24, 2018
  • Author: Peter Abdelmessieh, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which is not considered a malignancy, arises from the lobule at the terminal end of the duct and shows a rather diffuse distribution throughout the breast, which explains its presentation as a nonpalpable mass in most cases (see the images below). Over the past 25 years, LCIS incidence has doubled and is currently 2.8 per 100,000 women. The peak incidence is in women aged 40-50 years.

Breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma in situ. Enlargem Breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma in situ. Enlargement and expansion of lobule with monotonous population of neoplastic cells.
Breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma in situ at high p Breast cancer. Lobular carcinoma in situ at high power view showing orderly cells uniformly arranged with very few or no mitoses.

A study by Tran-Thanh et al found that the prolactin receptor gene is a potentially important target in the pathogenesis and progression of lobular neoplasia. Because this gene was found to be potentially less important in ductal carcinomas, the conclusion is that lobular and ductal carcinomas may evolve along separate pathways [2]

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