Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: Symptoms, Treatment, Research

Learn more about lobular breast cancer and what BCRF is doing to accelerate lifesaving research

Invasive lobular carcinoma, also referred to as invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC) or simply lobular carcinoma/breast cancer, is the second most common type of breast cancer after invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). The location where the cancer originates distinguishes ductal vs. lobular breast cancer: Invasive ductal carcinoma begins in milk ducts whereas invasive lobular carcinoma begins in lobules (the milk-producing glands of the breast).

Lobular breast cancer represents 10 to 15 percent of all invasive breast cancers. Over the past two decades, incidence rates of lobular carcinoma have increased. An estimated 43,000 cases of invasive lobular breast cancer were diagnosed in 2021, the most recent data available. Despite its prevalence, our understanding of the unique biology of lobular breast cancer is still emerging.

Lobular carcinoma is treatable but has a unique biology that affects symptoms, diagnosis, and therapeutic strategies. BCRF is working to better understand these challenges and advance lobular breast cancer research—and in just the last few years, say advocates and researchers like BCRF investigator and Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Steffi Oesterreich, has made terrific progress. Our updated research regarding lobular carcinoma will help more patients around the world to find new treatments everyday.

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