Background: Infiltrating lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most common type of invasive breast cancers and it has been reported to have some unique biologic and epidemiologic characteristics.
Methods: Clinicopathological features of 95 patients with ILC, their relapse free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were retrospectively investigated and compared with those of 3,621 patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma-not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) between January 1984 and December 2005.
Results: ILC constitutes 2.3% of all invasive breast cancers. There were no difference between the ILC and the IDC-NOS groups regarding age at diagnosis, tumor size, nodal status, and treatment modalities except hormone therapy. The ILC group showed more estrogen receptor expression, less HER-2 expression and higher bilaterality. RFS and OS of the ILC patients were similar to those of the IDC. IDC-NOS metastasized more frequently to the lung and bone, whereas, ILC to the bone and ovary.
Conclusions: The incidence of ILC was relatively low in Korean breast cancer patients. Comparing to IDC-NOS ILC showed some different features such as higher estrogen receptor expression, less HER-2 expression, higher bilaterality and preferred metastatic sites of bone and ovary. Contralateral cancers and bone and ovary evaluation should be considered when monitoring ILC patients.