Tamoxifen for DCIS

Kevin Fox, MD
Last Modified: February 3, 2002

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I recently was diagnosed with high nuclear grade, multifocal, comedo-necrosis type DCIS. I underwent a modified radical mastectomy. No invasive cancer was found, & all 13 nodes excised were negative.

Estrogen receptor status was not done as the clinical guidelines in Canada indicate no further treatment is necessary. Is Tamoxifen warranted as further treatment in this type of DCIS, esp. for protection for the other breast? Is it only effective on ER+ receptors?  


Kevin Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania responds:

Tamoxifen will benefit you only insofar as it may lower the risk of breast cancer in the opposite breast. Your DCIS has been treated adequately with surgery; tamoxifen will provide no additional treatment benefit in regard to the breast that was removed. Estrogen receptors are not factored into the management of DCIS as opposed to invasive cancer.

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