WHY is LOBULAR CANCER so hard to detect?

Does anyone know why this particular cancer is so hard to discover? Why doesn´t it show up on mammograms or on ultra-sound?
What is the best test to find it? Thermal imaging?

Hi Sascha

I’ve been told by my surgeon that an MRI with a dye contrast is the best way to detect lobular. What he told me is that lobular tends to be multifocal ie its in a lot of places. So you have cancerous cells dotted around the breast rather than a single lump and therefore it’s only when those cells join up that you can feel the thickening. He likened it to a spiders web.

I had a very large tumour (8 cm x 6 cm) and had some chemo first. After the chemo, none of the doctors I saw in clinic could feel the tumour on palpation. I could and had to direct them to it! My consultant said he couldn’t really see much when he did the mx and yet after histology it was still a 3cm x 2cm tumour. That’s why they tend to recommend a mx for lobular.

It does show up on mammograms eventually. By the time I was diagnosed mine did show up on a mammogram.

Hope that helps
Elinda x

Thank you, yes that does help a lot for the future.

Hi Sascha, ILC is harder to detect due to the growth pattern, Indian file, it mimics appearance almost like ordinary cells and grows in strands, hence the large size of ILC tumours. That makes them hard to image.
med-ed.virginia.edu/courses/path/gyn/breast6.cfm