Written by : Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, also known as Intraductal Carcinoma, is a type of noninvasive 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 also referred to as 'TIS', which means 'tumor in situ' or 'in the same place'. Although the cells are cancerous, it is sometimes referred to as a precancerous condition since it is non-invasive.
DCIS is also known as Stage 0 of breast cancer. It is usually diagnosed during a mammogram done as part of breast cancer screening or to investigate a breast lump.
Ductal breast cancer is more common than lobular breast cancer. Between 85% and 90% of all breast cancers are ductal.
Because the cancer cells does not break through the wall of the duct in DCIS, the cancer cells have no access to the blood stream or the lymphatic circulation, and have no ability to spread to other parts of the body. As a result, DCIS is completely curable. It is very uncommon for death to occur due to 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 as early as possible.
Treatment may include breast-conserving surguries like Lumpectomy. Or the breast may need to be removed completely by Mastectomy. Radiation may also be planned in some cases of DCIS. Surgery and radiotherapy may sometimes be offered as a combined treatment module. Chemotherapy is usually not required to treat DCIS.
Progress of Normal Breast Duct to DCIS and Invasive Ductal Cancer
Factors that may increase risks of DCIS are:
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