Ductal Breast Cancer in Situ (DCIS)
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the ducts of the breasts and remains contained within the ducts. 'In situ' is a Latin word meaning 'in place'. It is often referred to as a precancerous condition. It is also referred to as 'TIS', which means 'tumor in situ' or 'in the same place'.
Ductal breast cancer is more common than lobular breast cancer. Between 85% and 90% of all breast cancers are ductal.
Because the cancer cells have not as yet broken through the wall of the duct, the cancer cells have no access to the blood stream or the lymph nodes, and have no ability to spread to other parts of the body. As a result, DCIS is completely curable. Women do not die of DCIS.
But once the cells break through the duct wall, it becomes Invasive Ductal Cancer (IDC) and can spread rapidly. So, DCIS needs to be treated aggressively.
Symptoms of DCIS:
- No Symptoms: In most cases, DCIS produces no symptoms at all. It is diagnosed at routine mammography or physical examination.
- Breast Lump: In some cases, a small lump may be felt under the nipple or areola. Like most breast cancers, these are also non-tender and firm lumps.
- Nipple Discharge: Some women may have a nipple discharge which may be yellowish, greenish or reddish. Reddish implies the presence of blood while greenish or yellowish may indicate the presence of infection.
- Pain: Pain is very uncommon. But in the presence of infection of the lump, there may be some amount of pain.
Stages of DCIS:
DCIS is generally considered to be Stage O of Ductal breast cancer since it is non-invasive.