Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is an extremely early – and highly treatable – form of breast cancer. This diagnosis is sometimes referred to as “stage 0 breast cancer;” while abnormal cells are present, they have not spread outside of their original location in the milk ducts. DCIS does not always become invasive breast cancer, but there is not yet a reliable way to predict which cases will or will not progress. However, the more abnormal the cells look when viewed under a microscope – and the more rapidly they reproduce – the more likely they are to eventually become an invasive form of breast cancer.
How is ductal carcinoma in situ treated?
Even though ductal carcinoma in situ is noninvasive and does not always become a more advanced cancer, each case still requires prompt treatment. In most cases, a combination of surgery and radiation therapy can prevent further cancer from developing. However, regular surveillance is required after treatment to ensure that the abnormal cells do not come back.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, each patient is given an individualized treatment plan to suit her preferences and specific needs. A patient’s treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- A lumpectomy – The cancer and a small amount of surrounding tissue are removed. Most of the breast remains intact.
- A mastectomy – The entire affected breast is removed.
- Radiation therapy – High-energy radiation beams are sometimes delivered to the breast following a lumpectomy to reduce the chances of recurrence.
- Hormonal therapy – When hormone receptors are heavily present in DCIS, hormone therapy may be used to block or lower estrogen production, thereby slowing or stopping the growth of the cancer.
Our approach to ductal carcinoma in situ treatment
At Moffitt, we take an integrative approach to treating ductal carcinoma in situ. To give each patient the best possible outcome – both in terms of survival and quality of life – we:
- Have multiple specialists – including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and supportive care professionals – create an individualized treatment plan for each patent
- Offer a comprehensive range of therapies in a single, convenient location (this includes not only standard treatments, but also novel therapies made accessible through our clinical trials)
- Empower patients to make educated choices regarding their treatment, using genetic testing and other advanced techniques to help them decide on the best possible options
- Review each patient’s progress during weekly tumor board meetings
- Provide emotional, spiritual and social support at every step of the way
We also offer a comprehensive range of breast cancer screening services. Using state-of-the-art imaging scans, our team can detect even minor changes in a patient’s breast tissue. This focus on early detection is just one reason our patients have the best possible quality of life.
Patients do not need physician referrals to come to Moffitt. To learn more about our approach to treating ductal carcinoma in situ, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.