The precise causes of ductal carcinoma in situ are still not well understood. The renowned research team at Moffitt Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, continues to learn more every day about this common form of breast cancer. Results of several extensive studies have shown that ductal carcinoma in situ develops when healthy breast duct cells sustain DNA damage that makes those cells grow and divide uncontrollably, leading to the formation of masses or tumors. However, the originating causes of this DNA damage remain unclear.
At Moffitt’s state-of-the-art research labs in Tampa, Florida, we are currently conducting several studies to examine the various stages of breast cancer development in detail. Among other things, our goals are to determine:
- Whether established risk factors for the development of ductal carcinoma in situ, including hereditary mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, have a direct role in causing healthy breast cells to become cancerous
- The specific genes that become damaged during the development of ductal carcinoma in situ, and the effects of this genetic damage on formerly healthy breast duct cells
- Why ductal carcinoma in situ sometimes becomes invasive by penetrating the walls of an affected milk duct and spreading to the surrounding breast tissue and lymph nodes, or traveling through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other areas of the body
In addition to studying how ductal carcinoma in situ develops, Moffitt’s researchers and clinicians are working continually to identify more effective treatments. We are dedicated to improving outcomes and quality of life for every person who is affected by breast cancer, now and in the future.
If you’d like to learn more, the oncologists in the Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program at Moffitt Cancer Center can further explain what is currently known about the causes of ductal carcinoma in situ. To request an appointment in Tampa, FL, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.