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Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)

A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About DCIS

A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast.

In some cases, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive.

Also called DCIS and intraductal carcinoma. NIH - National Cancer Institute

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Post‐operative radiotherapy for ductal carcinoma in situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is characterised by the development of cancerous cells in the milk ducts of the breast and is commonly diagnosed by mammography screening. Surgical removal of the breast offers a good prognosis, however many women and clinicians prefer breast conserving surgery (BCS), the removal of the DCIS plus a rim of normal breast tissue, as there is no guarantee that DCIS will progress to invasive cancer. This approach means that most of the normal breast is saved. The main risk of inadequately removing all the DCIS is either a recurrence of DCIS or the development of invasive breast cancer at a later time with the risk that this can progress to metastatic disease (cancer that has spread). Radiotherapy (RT) is treatment using ionising radiation. Giving RT after BCS is thought to reduce the risk of developing recurrent disease (either DCIS or invasive breast cancer).

Diagnosis and Management of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

Systematic synthesis of the published evidence about incidence, risk factors, and management options for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast.

[Effect of adjuvant radiation after breast conserving surgery on the risk of recurrence for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast: a meta analysis based on randomized controlled trials]

Bibliographic details: Zhang B, Zhao C, Ma J, Ma Z.  [Effect of adjuvant radiation after breast conserving surgery on the risk of recurrence for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast: a meta analysis based on randomized controlled trials]. Chinese Journal of Clinical Oncology 2012; 39(11): 772-776 Available from: http://new.med.wanfangdata.com.cn/Paper/Detail?id=PeriodicalPaper_zgzllc201211006

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Summaries for consumers

Post‐operative radiotherapy for ductal carcinoma in situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is characterised by the development of cancerous cells in the milk ducts of the breast and is commonly diagnosed by mammography screening. Surgical removal of the breast offers a good prognosis, however many women and clinicians prefer breast conserving surgery (BCS), the removal of the DCIS plus a rim of normal breast tissue, as there is no guarantee that DCIS will progress to invasive cancer. This approach means that most of the normal breast is saved. The main risk of inadequately removing all the DCIS is either a recurrence of DCIS or the development of invasive breast cancer at a later time with the risk that this can progress to metastatic disease (cancer that has spread). Radiotherapy (RT) is treatment using ionising radiation. Giving RT after BCS is thought to reduce the risk of developing recurrent disease (either DCIS or invasive breast cancer).

Tamoxifen treatment after surgical treatment of pre‐cancerous lesions of the breast

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a type of early breast cancer. It has no symptoms but is mostly detected by mammography screening. This type of 'pre' cancer is treated with surgery (e.g. mastectomy or lumpectomy), often in combination with radiotherapy. Some women are also given oral hormone tablets (tamoxifen), but it is unclear whether adding tamoxifen hormone treatment after surgery gives any added benefit. This review examined whether tamoxifen after local excision prevented any further episodes of cancer and whether women taking tamoxifen lived longer compared to those who did not take hormone therapy after local excision.

The breast cancer screening program in Germany

As part of the breast cancer screening program offered in Germany, women between the ages of 50 and 69 are eligible for a free mammogram every two years. Participation is voluntary. The goal of breast cancer screening is to help discover breast cancer as early as possible in order to increase the chances of recovery. But it also has disadvantages.In screening programs, everyone in a certain age group is offered a specific screening test. The costs are covered by their health insurance. In Germany, women between the ages of 50 and 69 receive a letter from their regional mammography program center, inviting them to have a mammogram. The letter includes a suggested appointment time and date as well as information about the screening test. They can decide themselves whether or not they would like to have a mammogram. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. The aim of this screening test is to detect breast cancer as soon as possible in order to provide better treatment and increase the chances of recovery. Unfortunately, it also has some disadvantages. For instance, it may lead to unnecessary treatment.It is important to be aware that mammography cannot prevent breast cancer.Before having a mammogram, every woman has a right to talk about the pros and cons of the test in a personal appointment with a doctor who is part of the mammography program. They will have to make the appointment themselves beforehand. Generally speaking, no doctors will be present during the mammography test itself.

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More about Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

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Also called: Intraductal carcinoma

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