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How is invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) diagnosed?

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You might not feel a distinct lump. Instead, you may feel a thickened area or a hardening in part of your breast. It often occurs in the area above your nipple toward your armpit. Your skin of your breast or nipple may dimple.

Often, invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) can’t be found by a mammogram. If you have a suspicious area, your doctor should order a biopsy to analyze cells. Most biopsies use a needle to extract a sample of cells from the breast. In some instances, though, larger samples or the entire tumor will be removed for analysis.

The biopsy will help your doctor decide whether you have invasive lobular carcinoma and how aggressive it may be.

SOURCES:

Breastcancer.org: “Lobular carcinoma in situ;” “Invasive lobular carcinoma;” ”Bone Scans;” “LCIS and Breast Cancer Risk;” ”Treatments for LCIS;” “Test for Diagnosing ILC;” and “Systemic Treatments for ILC: Chemotherapy, Hormonal Therapy, Targeted Therapies.”

Breast Cancer Network of Strength: “Lobular carcinoma in situ” and “Infiltrating lobular carcinoma.”

National Cancer Institute: “Lobular carcinoma in situ.”

American Cancer Society: “What is breast cancer?” and "Special Section: Breast Carcinoma in Situ."

College of American Pathologists: “Lobular carcinoma in situ“ and "Invasive lobular carcinoma.”

MedlinePlus: “Tamoxifen.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on March 17, 2019

SOURCES:

Breastcancer.org: “Lobular carcinoma in situ;” “Invasive lobular carcinoma;” ”Bone Scans;” “LCIS and Breast Cancer Risk;” ”Treatments for LCIS;” “Test for Diagnosing ILC;” and “Systemic Treatments for ILC: Chemotherapy, Hormonal Therapy, Targeted Therapies.”

Breast Cancer Network of Strength: “Lobular carcinoma in situ” and “Infiltrating lobular carcinoma.”

National Cancer Institute: “Lobular carcinoma in situ.”

American Cancer Society: “What is breast cancer?” and "Special Section: Breast Carcinoma in Situ."

College of American Pathologists: “Lobular carcinoma in situ“ and "Invasive lobular carcinoma.”

MedlinePlus: “Tamoxifen.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on March 17, 2019

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Which tests may doctors use to diagnose invasive lobular carcinoma?

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