Surgery for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

Surgery is typically the first treatment a patient will receive for ductal carcinoma in situ. Surgical outcomes for stage 0 breast cancer are often very positive; because the cancerous cells are limited to one small location, surgeons are often able to remove all of them during a single operation.

Several different types of surgery can be recommended for patients who have ductal carcinoma in situ, depending primarily on the extent of the cancer and the patient’s unique personal preferences. The three most commonly used procedures are:

  • Breast-sparing lumpectomies, in which the cancerous cells and a small sample of surrounding healthy tissues are removed, but the majority of the patient’s breast is left intact
  • Single mastectomies, in which the patient’s entire breast is removed
  • Preventive double mastectomies, in which both breasts are removed to reduce the likelihood of a future recurrence

Sometimes, a patient who opts for a lumpectomy might require a re-excision lumpectomy shortly afterward. A re-excision lumpectomy is typically recommended if that the first surgery did not produce clear margins (traces of cancer were found in the margins of the removed tissue, indicating that a few cancerous cells might still remain in the body.) Radiation therapy or hormone therapy might also be provided to help destroy any residual cells after surgery.

After an initial procedure, a patient might opt to undergo reconstructive surgery. Any surgery used to remove ductal carcinoma in situ can potentially change the size, shape and feel of a patient’s breast. However, a plastic surgeon can help improve the post-surgical appearance of the breast (or breasts, in the case of a double mastectomy).

At Moffitt Cancer Center, patients can obtain treatment from a skilled team of surgeons who specialize in treating cancers of the breast. Our breast cancer treatment team also includes several plastic surgeons, as well as supportive care specialists.

We understand that surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ can be a life-changing experience. We welcome patients to discuss any and all concerns with our team while determining which procedure to select, as we are committed to helping each patient maintain his or her quality of life throughout treatment. Additionally, no referrals are required; patients need only call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to make an appointment.