What is Ductal Carcinoma In Situ-DCIS?
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer that originates in the milk ducts of the breast. it is one of the most common types of breast cancer and if caught early, can be treated to prevent further spread to the rest of the breast tissue.
What are the symptoms of DCIS?
DCIS is found during mammography and does not present with any symptoms, therefore it is important to be diligent about having your screenings done as recommended by your physician.
How is a DCIS diagnosis confirmed?
If your mammogram is suspicious for DCIS, you will need to have a stereotactic biopsy, removing breast tissue for pathological review. Once DCIS is confirmed, it is assessed for type and grade of cancer. Grade 1 is least likely to spread, Grade 2 is slow growing and Grade 3 is most likely to spread.
What is the treatment recommended for DCIS?
Sometimes lumpectomy, radiation and breast conserving therapy, however, mastectomy may also be necessary if more than one quadrant of the breast is affected. Because DCIS can be multi-focal, mastectomy would be better option. Nipple-sparing mastectomy is a good option when no radiation is required. An Estrogen receptor test can be helpful because certain drugs can stop estrogen from causing cancer growth.
What is the risk of recurrence?
Genetic testing can tell you how likely you are to have hereditary breast cancer, most often cause by mutation in the BRCA 1 & 2 genes. Endocrine therapy lowers the likelihood of a second breast cancer with estrogen receptor positive DCIS.
Changing your lifestyle, such as eating healthier, exercising more, and maintaining a healthy weight may contribute to lowering your risks.