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J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2010;2010(41):187-92. doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgq020.

The impact of adding radiation treatment after breast conservation surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein Medical Center, 5501 Old York Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19141, USA.


Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; intraductal carcinoma) is most commonly detected as suspicious microcalcifications on routine screening mammography in an asymptomatic woman. As most women with newly diagnosed DCIS are eligible for breast conservation treatment, a major decision for most women is whether or not to add radiation treatment after surgical excision (lumpectomy). In four prospective randomized clinical trials, the addition of radiation treatment after lumpectomy reduced the risk of local recurrence by approximately 50%, both for overall local recurrence and for the subset of invasive local recurrence. Nonetheless, efforts have continued to attempt to identify a subset of patients with favorable DCIS who are at sufficiently low risk of local recurrence that omitting radiation treatment is reasonable. Prospective and retrospective studies have demonstrated excellent long-term outcomes at 10 and 15 years after breast conservation treatment with radiation. Careful follow-up, including yearly surveillance mammography, after initial breast conservation treatment with radiation is warranted for the early detection of potentially salvageable local and local-regional recurrences.

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