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What Causes Dcis Breast Cancer

How Likely Is Dcis To Come Back

What Are the Treatment Options for DCIS Breast Cancer?

The chance of the DCIS coming back depends on various factors. But after mastectomy DCIS almost never comes back. In women who have just the area of DCIS removed the chance of it coming back is a bit higher. But it depends on the grade and type of DCIS.

Your doctor can give you more information about the chance of the DCIS coming back in your case.

How Is It Diagnosed

Most of the time, DCIS is diagnosed through a routine breast cancer screening.

If your doctor thinks you might have DCIS, youll probably need further tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • a diagnostic mammogram
  • an MRI
  • a biopsy

The report that comes back from the pathologists in the lab may contain some unfamiliar terms, like the ones described below:

A biopsy will also be able to determine the hormone receptor status of the DCIS cells. Many times, DCIS will have receptors that respond to the hormones estrogen or progesterone.

If these hormone receptors are present, it can help your doctor decide whether to offer you anti-estrogen medication to reduce the risk of recurrence.

What Is Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ is the earliest possible form of breast cancer. It needs to be treated but is not life-threatening.

Breast cancer usually starts in the cells that line the lobules and the milk ducts that carry milk from the lobule out through the nipple. The place where DCIS starts is the terminal duct lobular unit. In this information, we use the simpler terms lobules and ducts.

In DCIS, the cancer cells are completely contained in the ducts and lobules. The cells have not broken through the walls of the lobules or ducts or grown into surrounding breast tissue. This is because the cells are not yet able to invade other tissues.

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When Should You Have A Mammogram

A 2017 research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine, finds 81 percent of primary care healthcare providers and gynecologists recommend women start having mammograms between ages 40 and 44. Another 62.9 percent recommend annual screenings for this age group. However, women with certain risk factors, especially family history of breast and gynecological cancers, should start having mammograms earlier.

Hormonal Treatment For Dcis

DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ): Symptoms, Causes &  Treatment

Another treatment that doctors may use in the treatment of DCIS is hormonal therapy. DCIS cells typically have estrogen receptors that help to signal and regulate cell growth.

If this tendency for the cells to grow and divide can be slowed down, the cancer cells themselves will often stop growing, or grow at a much slower rate.

Tamoxifen is a chemical agent that specifically attacks the estrogen receptors and may be of some benefit for women with DCIS. However, hormone therapy does not work well for all women and is not effective at all for women who have had radiotherapy.

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Diagnosis Of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Diagnosing invasive breast cancer usually involves many steps. The first is a physical exam and medical history. Doctors can often feel the lump in your breast. They’ll check your armpits and surrounding areas for changes, too.

A mammogram is the next step. This is an x-ray of your breast tissue. It allows doctors to see any tumors or lumps of abnormal tissue. This is the same screening done in healthy women to detect breast cancer early. Ultrasounds and MRIs provide additional images if needed. The biopsy comes last. Doctors remove the lump during surgery. Then, they test the tumor to diagnose cancer.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Treatment

Most women with IDC have surgery to remove the cancer. The treatment options are usually:

  • Lumpectomy: The surgeon only removes the tumor and a bit of the tissue around it to help make sure all the cancer cells have been removed. You might hear it called breast-conserving surgery
  • Mastectomy: The surgeon removes an entire breast.

Which one you get depends on the size of your tumor and how much it has spread throughout your breast and surrounding lymph nodes.

In addition to surgery, other treatments may include:

  • Radiation: This usually follows your surgery.
  • Hormone therapy: Youll get it if your cancer is hormone receptor-positive . These drugs block or lower the amount of estrogen in your body.
  • Chemotherapy: These medications target cancer cells throughout your body. Doctors may also use It before surgery to shrink tumors and after to kill any cancer cells left behind.
  • Targeted therapy: These medications block cancer cell growth. You might get them along with chemotherapy.

You might get one treatment or a combination.

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After Dcis Your Cancer Risk Rises

Stage 0 breast cancer is certainly not a death sentence, and weve seen that treatment is also very effective. However, if youve been diagnosed with DCIS, you are at a higher risk of both recurrence and developing a new cancer than someone whos never had breast cancer before.

According to, your chance of recurrence is highest within the first 5 to 10 years after initial diagnosis but decreases if radiation therapy has been included as part of your treatment plan.

However, as stated earlier, whether your health care provider recommends radiation or hormone therapy will depend on several factors, including the size of your lesion, grade, and hormone status.

Regardless, when it comes to breast health, prevention and early detection are key. So keep up with your breast self-exams, see your health care provider regularly, and have your breasts imaged on a regular basis.

And if you have nipple discharge, feel a lump in one of your breasts, or notice an area of skin that appears abnormal, be sure to make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be scary, but a diagnosis of DCIS comes with an excellent prognosis. And remember that your health care provider will also be there to offer you the reassurance, appropriate education, and information you need to decide on the best DCIS treatment options for you.

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Are There Risk Factors Associated With Dcis

How Serious is DCIS Breast Cancer?

Exactly what causes DCIS isnt known. Still, research has shed light on some of the possible factors that may increase your risk of developing a breast cancer diagnosis.

Its important to know that your risk of developing breast cancer isnt usually dependent on a single factor. You may have several risk factors, but that doesnt necessarily mean youll get breast cancer.

However, understanding your risk factors can help you make better decisions about your health and healthcare.

The following factors may contribute to a higher risk of breast cancer:

Some risk factors your age, for example are things beyond your control. But some aspects of your lifestyle can affect your overall health and your risk of developing breast cancer.

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When To See A Doctor For Dcis

It is strongly recommended to seek doctors advice in case of any abnormality of discomfort in breast including lump, presence of puckered region or thickened region in breast, discharge of blood through nipple etc

Refer to your doctor for the right time and frequency of screening for breast cancer suitable in your case. Usually experts recommend routine scanning for breast cancer after the age of 40 years.

  • Prepare a complete report comprising your medical issues including any minor or irregular problems in breast. If you have taken any radiation therapy then make sure to mention it too.
  • The occurrence of any case of breast cancer in family especially first degree relatives including sister or mother must be reported.
  • Prepare a complete list of any medicines, supplements, vitamins etc that you have been taking as it can have a role to play in DCIS . It must also include any hormone replacement therapy if undertaken.
  • It is always better to have someone from your family or close friends to accompany you during a doctors visit as the patent can be too tensed to effectively explain his condition or even grasp everything that doctor is saying.
  • Prepare the list of questions that you wish to ask to the doctor during the visit as it is very normal to forget about something you had in mind during the visit to the doctor.

During your visit to doctor, be prepared to answer one of more of the following questions related to DCIS :

What Is The Prognosis For Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Based on individual markers and prognostic factors, including the staging of your tumor, your physician will work to give you a prognosis. At Johns Hopkins Medicine, our team of breast cancer specialists is dedicated to developing cutting-edge techniques for surgery, breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, biologic targeted therapy, radiation therapy and other hormonal therapies. Our research allows us to make great strides forward for patients with breast cancer.

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A Test Can Help You Determine Your Risk

Sometimes doctors will recommend a genomic test, called the Oncotype DX test, to help determine a DCIS patient’s risk of getting another cancer in the future. A sample from the DCIS biopsy or lumpectomy is sent to a lab, where pathologists study the activity of 12 different cancer-related genes.

“You get back what’s called a DCIS score, from zero to 100, that tells you the likelihood of a DCIS recurrence or of an invasive cancer in the next 10 years,” says Dr. White. “I want to help patients keep their breasts, so if they have a high risk of recurrence we want to recommend radiation so they can prevent that invasive cancer in the future.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has also developed a free online assessment tool to helps DCIS patients estimate their risk of another cancer, based on age, family history, and details about their specific tumor. “We want to help patients understand their individual risks, so they can make an informed decision about how much treatment they’re going to have,” says Dr. White.

Signs That Dcis Is Likely To Become Invasive Breast Cancer

Bottom Line: New research shows when it may be safe to watch and wait.


Study titled Predictors of an Invasive Breast Cancer Recurrence after DCIS: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses by researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Mostductal carcinoma in situ breastcancer will never become life-threatening, even if left untreated. However,there hasnt been a good way to tell when DCIS should be treated and when treatment can be safely skippeduntilnow. A new study has identified six factors that determine when DCIS is mostlikely to become invasive breast cancer.

DCISis cancer that starts in a milk duct and has not spread outside the duct. Oftencalled stage 0, its such an early stage of cancer that some experts believeits actually a precancerous condition rather than actual cancer. DCIS has becomeincreasingly commonpossibly because women are living longer, more women aregetting screening mammograms, and mammograms have become better at findingthese small breast cancers. About 20% of all breast cancers are DCIS.

Mostwomen with DCIS have a lumpectomy, and some also have radiation. The risk forDCIS recurrence after lumpectomy alone is about 25% to 30%adding radiation therapydrops the risk to about 15%. Only half of recurrences are invasive cancertherest are DCIS again.


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Hormonal Therapy After Surgery

If doctors know the cancer uses estrogen and progesterone to grow, they will likely suggest hormonal therapy.

This treatment blocks tumor receptors that bind to these hormones, or reduces the amount of estrogen and progesterone in the body. A person may continue hormonal therapy for 5 years after surgery.

high because people receive their breast cancer diagnosis early and begin treatment before the cancer progresses to a more invasive type.

The vast majority of people with DCIS can expect to have a normal life expectancy. However, they are at a higher risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the future in comparison with the general population.

In instances where a person does not receive treatment for DCIS, the cancer could progress to an invasive type and spread to other parts of the body.

Removal Of Part Of The Breast

Many women have surgery to remove the area of DCIS and a border of healthy tissue around it. This is called breast conserving surgery, or a wide local excision or sometimes a lumpectomy.

After this surgery, you might have radiotherapy to the rest of the breast tissue if the DCIS cells look very abnormal . The radiotherapy treatment aims to kill off any abnormal cells that might still be in the breast tissue. Your doctor or breast care nurse will discuss with you the possible benefits and risks of radiotherapy.

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Difficult Decisions For Patients

Toro de Stefani is one of 60,000 U.S. women diagnosed with DCIS each year. Each must decide on a treatment option.

Current guidelines that recommend lumpectomy and radiation are causing concerns that the condition may be overtreated, since most cases never become invasive.

This gives medical professionals enormous uncertainty about how to advise women on an individual basis, says Thompson, professor of Surgery at MD Anderson. And therefore, historically the treatments have ranged from active surveillance on one end of the pectrum all the way to mastectomies on the other.

Thompson says DCIS diagnoses have increased as breast imaging has become more accurate and frequent. The National Institutes of Health estimates that by 2020, more than 1 million women in the U.S. will be living with a DCIS diagnosis, compared to 500,000 in 2005.

Before mammograms became common, many women had the condition for years without being aware of it, because it grows so slowly and causes no symptoms.

Perhaps, surprisingly, given that breast screening has been around for three or four decades, were only now really coming to grips with the fact that we often diagnose some conditions like DCIS as breast cancer even though theyre not conventional, invasive breast cancers, Thompson says.

Hes participating in three DCIS research studies that he hopes will make treatment decisions easier.

Dcis Can Happen At Any Age

Treating Low Grade DCIS

“DCIS can happen to anybody, anytime,” says Dr. Meyers, but it’s usually diagnosed in women over 40, the age at which many women begin getting mammograms. According to the American Cancer Society, DCIS rates increase with age, and peak around age 70 to 79.

Women diagnosed with DCIS under age 50 have a higher rate of recurrence or of an invasive cancer, and therefore more aggressive treatment is usually recommended, says Dr. White. Those over 50, on the other hand, can take comfort in knowing that a diagnosis does not raise their risk of early death.

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What Are The Potential Complications Of Ductal Carcinoma

The main complication of ductal carcinoma is metastasis or spreading. This means cancer cells have traveled from the breast through the bloodstream or lymph system to other areas. The most common places for it to spread are the bones, brain, liver and lungs. Some women have metastatic at the time of the original diagnosis. Other people develop it when breast cancer recurs.

Prognosis, or survival, is often what women want to know after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. DCIS has a very high survival rate with nearly 100% of women still living five years after diagnosis. Invasive ductal carcinoma survival rate depends on the stage. In general, the lower the stage, the better the prognosis is. However, there are other factors that influence treatment outcomes. This includes your age, your general health, and how the tumor responds to treatment. Your doctor is best able to help you understand how survival estimates apply to your particular situation. Talk with your doctor for the most reliable information.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Or Dcis

Ductal carcinoma in situ , is the word physicians use when a biopsy shows that some breast cells appear to be cancer cells. However, these cancer cells are still confined within the breast duct or ducts.

Sometimes medics describe Ductal Carcinoma in Situ as a pre-cancerous condition. But do not worry, this is not really the case.

DCIS means there are malignant cells present , but these have not yet spread to any areas beyond the affected duct .

Ductal carcinoma in situ is very early stage breast cancer. If treatment does not occur very quickly, the malignant cells may migrate into the breast tissue surrounding the milk ducts.

If breast cancer screening can detect Ductal Carcinoma in Situ before invasive cancer has a chance to develop the survival rates are considerably higher.

Visit our new and improved page on Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. It has more up-to-date information. However, this page is still great for research as well.

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Are There Any Adjuvant Treatments

After surgery, you may need other treatments. These are called adjuvant treatments and can include radiotherapy and, in some cases, hormone therapy.

The aim of these treatments is to reduce the risk of DCIS coming back or an invasive cancer developing.

Chemotherapy and targeted therapy are not used as treatment for DCIS.

What Is The Prognosis For Dcis

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) &  Mastectomy

Women with DCIS have an excellent prognosis. At Johns Hopkins Medicine, our pathologists are scrupulous at identifying DCIS and strive to reduce the risk that any invasive cancer was missed. By treating DCIS at a comprehensive breast center, you ensure your health is in the best possible hands.

It is important to maintain a rigorous screening schedule to monitor for local recurrence in the original breast and to monitor the healthy breast. By definition, there is no risk of distant recurrence since the cancer is noninvasive. For women having lumpectomy with radiation, the risk of local recurrence ranges from 5-15 percent. For women having mastectomy, the risk of local recurrence is less than 2 percent. Women who take hormonal therapy after surgery further reduce their risk of recurrence by half.

Breast cancer may develop in the womans other breast, so careful monitoring is important. This happens only to about five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer. If a cancer develops in the patients other breast, it is not referred to as recurrence, but is a new primary breast cancer. It can also be a different type of breast cancer than the original cancer.

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