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Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC), also known as infiltrating lobular carcinoma, is the second most common form of breast cancer diagnosed in the United States, representing 10-15 percent of diagnosed invasive breast cancers. This type of cancer is more difficult to see on imaging because of the way it grows with spreading branches.

How is invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) diagnosed?

Same Day Results

At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, our team of breast specialists understands how quickly patients want results from a biopsy or scan if there is a suspicion of breast cancer, so we follow strict guidelines for biopsies and pathology reports. Patients are told the probability of cancer immediately following their biopsy procedure, and receive pathology confirmation within 24 hours.

Learn more about the steps of diagnosis, including:

What is the treatment for invasive lobular carcinoma?

Women with a diagnosis of ILC must choose their surgeon carefully. For any breast cancer surgery to be a success, it’s important that the cancerous area is surrounded by clear margins. The branch-like growth pattern of ILC makes this difficult. To be sure cancer the cancer has been removed, the surgeon must clear the cancer from the tissue all the way around the tumor, including any growth that may not be evident on imaging. In some cases, re-excision is necessary.

ILC is treated with a lumpectomy or mastectomy, depending on the size and location of the tumor. In addition, your medical oncologist and radiation oncologist may recommend chemotherapy and/or radiation, hormonal therapy or biologic targeted therapy.

What is the prognosis for invasive lobular carcinoma?

Based on individual markers and prognostic factors including the staging of your tumor, your physician will provide you with information about your prognosis. Early stage breast cancers carry a higher survival rate than advanced stages.