There are several risk factors associated with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Their presence doesn’t necessarily mean that a person will develop DCIS; however, people who have one or more risk factors should be especially alert for unusual symptoms and participate in routine screenings. High-risk individuals may need to schedule more frequent screenings than those who do not have any DCIS risk factors; an oncologist can review a patient’s unique situation to determine the most appropriate screening regimen.
The main risk factors for ductal carcinoma in situ include:
- Having a family history of breast cancer
- Having a personal history of noncancerous breast conditions (e.g., atypical hyperplasia)
- Having genetic mutations associated with breast cancer, such as abnormalities in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
- Becoming pregnant for the first time after the age of 30
- Taking estrogen-progestin hormone replacement therapy for more than five years after menopause
- Having a high body mass index that indicates obesity (excess of body fat in relation to height)
Because ductal carcinoma in situ is considered a risk factor for other, more invasive types of breast cancer, people who have been diagnosed with DCIS need to be especially vigilant about scheduling screenings as recommended by a physician. As is the case with other forms of breast cancer, promptly detecting and treating DCIS is the primary way to obtain the best possible outcome and quality of life.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, patients can learn more about ductal carcinoma in situ risk factors and how these risk factors apply to their specific situations. Additionally, patients can receive comprehensive screening and surveillance services for ongoing peace of mind.