The Basics of Lobular Breast Cancer
Lobular breast cancer makes up about ten percent of breast cancer cases. This type of cancer usually shows up on both breasts at the same time, unlike some other forms. There are two different types of this cancer, so if you are diagnosed, you should make sure you know what you are up against. Not only is this type not exceptionally common, it is also not very aggressive. This means that you have more hope for a positive outcome. This type of cancer always begins in the glands, which is where your milk is produced.
The problem with lobular breast cancer is that it can be difficult to find. It does not necessarily show up on a mammogram the way a lump will. It forms a mass, but is not as easy to see, and may be quite large before anyone finds it. There are two different types of lobular breast cancer. The first is referred to as ‘situ,’ and that means the cancer in confined to the lobular area. If it spreads through the rest of your breast, it is then considered to be infiltrating. If you are diagnosed with situ lobular cancer, they may not even call it cancer, but rather pre-cancer.
Treatment for lobular breast cancer is pretty standard. You may have surgery to get rid of the mass in your breasts, and this will most likely be followed by chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation. Your doctor will give you the course of action they think is best for your particular case. Mastectomy might not be necessary unless the cancer is found in other parts of your breasts. This again will be something your doctor will have to discuss with you.
If you need to have a mastectomy, you will probably not have to go through radiation, but that will depend on how far your cancer has spread and what your specialist has to say about it. How much of your breast will be removed when you have lobular breast cancer will highly depend on where it is located, how far it has spread, and if there is concern that it will reoccur. Though only a small portion of the breast is removed in some cases, there are some women who may have a total removal. No matter what you have done, or what type of therapy you have afterwards, it is important that you go back in the years that follow to make sure you do not have a reoccurrence.
As with other types of cancer, the earlier you are diagnosed with lobular breast cancer, the better your chances of survival will be. Because it is rare and hard to see, it is not often easy to find it right away. The important things to remember is that there are new advances in cancer research all the time, and as long as you are aggressive about your treatment options, you have a fighting chance. Don’t be afraid to find other patients to talk to, and take advantage of support groups and the love of your family to help you through your ordeal.