The presence of abnormal cells inside the milk duct of a breast is referred to as ductal carcinoma in situ. The specific causes of this condition, which is considered to be the earliest stage of breast cancer, have yet to be identified. However, the scientists and clinicians in the Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program at Moffitt Cancer Center near Clearwater, FL, are performing extensive research and have made several significant breakthroughs in this area to date. In recognition of our contributions to advancing the knowledge base about breast cancer, the National Cancer Institute has designated Moffitt as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Thus far, it has been concluded that ductal carcinoma in situ is triggered by DNA damage that affects healthy breast duct cells. These damaged cells reproduce at a very rapid pace and are not programmed to die off at the end of their normal life cycles, resulting in a buildup of excess cells that can eventually form a mass or tumor. While the mechanism of cellular damage is generally understood, its specific underlying causes are still unknown.
Not far from Clearwater, Florida, Moffitt in Tampa is long recognized as a cancer research hub and is leading the way in gaining a detailed understanding of the causes of ductal carcinoma. To do so, we are currently studying:
- Hereditary mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are known breast cancer risk factors, and how these mutations can cause healthy breast duct cells to become cancerous
- The specific genes that become damaged as ductal carcinoma in situ develops
- The factors that can cause ductal carcinoma in situ to become invasive and spread
Because all of Moffitt’s preventive, diagnostic and treatment services are driven forward by our leading-edge research and clinical trials program, our patients are able to benefit from options like brand-new medications, surgical techniques and other promising therapies that are not yet available elsewhere. We continue to make great strides in understanding the causes of all forms of breast cancer, with a vision of finding a cure one day in the near future.
The oncologists at Moffitt Cancer Center can answer any questions you might have about the possible causes of ductal carcinoma in situ. To request an appointment at our Moffitt McKinley Outpatient Center located near Clearwater, FL, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.