About 10 percent of all invasive breast cancers (which have spread beyond the breast) are invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). Treatment for ILC needs to be quick and effective to keep it from advancing further.
At Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, we have the expertise needed to diagnose ILC and the innovation to treat it. We rely on the newest care protocols, precise surgery and promising clinical trials to treat ILC.
What Is Invasive Lobular Carcinoma?
ILC starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast. It is an invasive type of cancer, which means it has the ability to grow into the surrounding breast tissue. If left untreated ILC may use the lymphatic system or bloodstream to move into other areas of the body (become metastatic cancer).
Diagnosing Lobular Breast Cancer
ILC is not as easy to diagnose as some other types of breast cancer. Unlike invasive ductal carcinoma, it can affect more than one distinct area of the breast and may develop in both breasts.
ILC also grows differently—it does not grow in a round mass, making it harder to see during breast cancer screening. While many women with ILC have no breast cancer symptoms, the most common symptom is a thickening or hardening of the breast. Learn more about how we diagnose breast cancer.
ILC: The Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Advantage
Detecting and treating invasive lobular carcinoma requires in-depth breast cancer knowledge. At Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, we offer comprehensive care for every type of breast cancer during every stage of the disease. Benefits of our care include:
- Imaging specialists: Our radiologists and technologists dedicate themselves to breast imaging. Their in-depth knowledge and experience with advanced technology means they deliver an expert reading of your breast images.
- Multidisciplinary approach: Your care team includes specialists from all aspects of breast cancer care. They work together with you to determine the most effective treatment. Meet our breast cancer team.
- Access to promising treatments: Along with standard of care treatment, we provide access to innovative clinical trials, both here in Lancaster and in Philadelphia. We offer the most advanced treatment possible.
- Wide-ranging support: We offer extensive breast cancer support services. You’ll work with an oncology-certified nurse navigator who will connect you with financial assistance, counseling and services to help you feel more like yourself.
- Care where you need it: You’ll find expert cancer care right in Lancaster at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. Learn more about our breast cancer care locations.
How We Treat Lobular Breast Cancer
We take a patient-centered approach to breast cancer treatment. Your care team considers all options and works with you to create a plan that is effective and appropriate for your diagnosis and lifestyle. Your treatment for ILC may include:
- Surgery, for the removal of affected breast tissue (lumpectomy) or the entire breast (mastectomy)
- Breast reconstruction, which surgically recreates the shape and appearance of your breast during or after breast cancer surgery
- Chemotherapy, which uses either oral or intravenous (IV) drugs to attack cancer cells
- Radiation therapy, used after surgery or chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells
- Targeted therapy, in specific patients, including those with hormone-positive breast cancer, HER2-positive breast cancer and/or BRCA gene mutations
- Immunotherapy, for select patients with triple negative breast cancer
- Hormone therapy, if ILC is hormone-positive breast cancer
- Clinical trials, which offer new and innovative breast cancer treatments for all types of breast cancer
Request an Appointment
To make an appointment at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, call 717-544-9400 or request a callback using our online form.