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Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common invasive breast cancer, accounting for 10 percent of all invasive breast cancers. It requires effective and innovative treatment to keep from spreading further. At the Abramson Cancer Center, our providers rely on the newest treatment protocols and leading-edge clinical trials to treat ILC.

What Is Invasive Lobular Carcinoma?

Invasive lobular carcinoma begins in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast. As an invasive type of cancer, ILC has spread beyond its original tumor site. Over time, ILC may use the lymphatic system or bloodstream to move into other areas of the body (metastatic cancer).

Unlike invasive ductal carcinoma, ILC tends to affect more than one distinct area of the breast and may be diagnosed in both breasts. The first sign of ILC may be a thickening or hardening of the breast, although many women with ILC have no breast cancer symptoms. Because ILC does not grow in a round mass, it is harder to detect during breast cancer screening.

Why Choose the Abramson Cancer Center for Lobular Carcinoma?

Detecting and treating invasive lobular carcinoma requires in-depth breast cancer knowledge. At the Abramson Cancer Center, we have the experience to treat every type of breast cancer during every stage of the disease. At Penn Medicine, you’ll find:

  • Expert imaging: Our radiologists specialize in breast imaging. We use 3D mammography, breast MRI and ultrasound to identify and diagnose ILC as early as possible. Learn about breast imaging at Penn Medicine.
  • Comprehensive care: Our multidisciplinary team works together to personalize your care. From diagnosis to treatment and beyond, we address every aspect of breast cancer.
  • Compassionate support: Our dedicated oncology nurse navigators and breast cancer support services provide the relief and assistance you need throughout your treatment.
  • Care where you live: All of our Penn Medicine locations provide expert breast cancer care. The specialists across the network work together to get you the treatment you need.

How We Treat Lobular Breast Cancer

We offer many options for treating ILC so you receive the most personalized and effective treatment. Your care team considers all options and works with you to create a plan that is appropriate for your diagnosis and lifestyle. Your treatment for ILC may include: