Breast cancer is a condition that has long afflicted so many women around the world. Like other cancers, it causes so many difficulties when it comes to physical coping, treatments, and finances. This is brought about by so many factors and may lead to complications if not given the proper attention.
Lobular breast cancer or ILC (invasive lobular carcinoma) is a type of cancer that initially begins in the breast lobules, right where milk is generated. Then the cancer cells spread to the lining of the lobes and outer portion of the lobes themselves. This only proves that lobular breast cancer could metastasize to some other areas of the body. So many people are not aware of what lobular breast cancer is so here are some concepts that would help you be familiarized with it:
1. Consult your doctor
When you suspect yourself of having lobular breast cancer, you should see your doctor immediately. Check yourself if you feel a thickened portion in your breast when you perform your self-breast examination. The particular area may be swelled up but is not influenced by your period or lactation. You should also take note of any differentiation in texture, thickened area, dimpling, or retraction of the nipple.
Signs and symptoms of lobular breast cancer may not always manifest themselves as lumps on your breast.Â The lobes may just be in one line within your breast that could manifest themselves as a mass that resembles a web. This web may feel like a thickened portion of the breast tissue. Initially, it may not be painful at all. Eventually, it may grow into a mass that is 2 centimeters to 5 centimeters or more. Eventually, there may be skin irritation, pain in the breast or nipple, scaliness of the breast skin, redness of the breast skin, nipple discharge, or a lump in the underarm may all manifest themselves.
Diagnosis of lobular breast cancer is not usually made with the use of a mammogram, especially when it is still in the early stages. A breast ultrasound is usually more effective in detecting any abnormal growths in your breast. A much clearer view of the anomaly may be provided by an MRI. A breast MRI will be able to provide your doctor the location and size of the growth. A biopsy could also be obtained by getting a sample of the tissue growth and giving it to a pathologist to have it examined.
4. Risk factors
There are several risk factors of lobular breast cancer. One of the primary ones is of course, being female, although men could also be afflicted by this condition. Lobular breast cancer affects a greater part of the more mature population. You could also have a greater risk of getting lobular breast cancer if you use hormones (estrogen and progesterone) after your menopause. Of course, the genetic factor could never be disregarded. You have an increased risk of getting lobular breast cancer if you have a family history of any invasive type of cancer.
If the lobular breast cancer is not detected or given proper attention, it could spread to the other breast already. To be sure, your doctor may examine the other breast as well upon initial consultation because this is an invasive type of breast cancer. Lobular breast cancer could also spread or metastasize to other areas of your body if not detected readily.
Treatments for lobular breast cancer include complex procedures that remove the cancer cells or prevent their progression. Lumpectomy is a procedure performed if your tumor is still very small to remove. It is for tumors that grew on the surroundingÂ breast tissue. Mastectomy is performed on the breast if it has already invaded a large area of your breast already. Then there are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy. Hormone therapy is done for lobular breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor positive. Surgery is a major part of lobular breast cancer treatment. It involves the removal of the tumor and a small part of the surrounding healthy breast tissue. Another radical method is the surgical removal of the entire breast tissue. A lymph node biopsy or dissection could also be done. Here, the lymph node is removed and tested. It could be the lymph nodes in the breast area of in the axilla.
When you are diagnosed with lobular breast cancer, it is very difficult to accept. It certainly is no minor type of breast cancer and the ordeal is not ever easy to go through. Remember to work with your doctor well and seek the support of your family and friends to help you get through your condition as easy as possible