- Ductal carcinoma in situ is a form of pre-malignant breast cancer. With appropriate treatment, these tumors can be very effectively con-trolled, and will have a very low death rate due to cancer.
- Because DCIS is not yet invasive, it does not have the ability to spread to the lymph nodes of the axilla and to the rest of the body.
- If not treated, DCIS may progress to invasive breast cancer.
- Comedocarcinoma is one subtype of DCIS. It tends to be more aggres-sive than the other forms of DCIS, but with effective treatment will also have a very high cure rate.
- There are several treatment options for small, solitary tumors of DCIS-- lumpectomy alone, lumpectomy and radiation, or simple mastectomy.
- For slightly larger lesions, and comedocarcinomas, without evidence of multifocal lesions, there are two options, lumpectomy and radiation therapy or simple mastectomy.
- Very large lesions and extensive or multifocal lesions are best treated with simple mastectomy, and should not be considered for any form of breast sparing treatment.
- Because DCIS does not spread to the axillary lymph nodes, there is no need to perform lymph node surgery as part of the treatment.
- DCIS does not spread to the rest of the body, so chemotherapy and other drug treatment is not necessary for this disease.
- Patients who have had DCIS treated sucessfully in one breast are at risk of developing cancer in their opposite breast, and require life-long follow-up care.