DCIS info

DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ)

·        More than 20 percent of all breast cancers

·        Usually microscopic with no palpable lump

·        Non-invasive although the cells are abnormal

·        Classified as stage 0 pre-invasive cancer

Like invasive breast cancer, the standard treatment for DCIS is mastectomy or lumpectomy, usually followed by 6 weeks of radiation treatment, plus the drug tamoxifen. Chemotherapy is not a recommended treatment.

Ironically, invasive cancer, often in the form of a lump can often be treated with a breast conserving lumpectomy, while pre-cancerous DCIS, if it is microscopically present in more than one place, may necessitate a mastectomy.

Even though the necessity of radiation after surgery is somewhat controversial, it is often recommended for all DCIS patients. The controversial aspect of whether to radiate or not is in predicting which DCIS patients will benefit from radiation.

The Van Nuys Prognostic Index is a useful tool in calculating a woman’s risk of recurrence. If her risk is high, radiation may be needed. If it is low, the approximate 50 percent risk reduction that radiation provides may not be worth it.

Some women who could safely omit radiation and be at very low risk of recurrence needlessly subject themselves to radiation with its side effects and risks.This is especially true for those patients with low or intermediate grade DCIS.

If you are looking for more info re DCIS, please check out our new site DCIS Redefined. It discusses dilemmas, choices and integrative solutions unique to DCIS plus provides support, personal stories, up-to-date research, integrative breast cancer prevention strategies and access to experts in the field of DCIS.



  1. […] These finding concur with other studies. Below is an article written by Sandie Walters of “DCIS Without Rads.” […]

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