DCIS stands for ductal carcinoma in situ, which is a type of non-invasive breast cancer. It is also known as intraductal carcinoma and is considered a precursor to invasive breast cancer. DCIS is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells within the milk ducts of the breast, which have not yet spread outside of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue.
DCIS is usually detected through routine mammograms, and may not present any symptoms. It is estimated that up to 20-25% of all breast cancers diagnosed through mammography are DCIS. DCIS can occur in both men and women, although it is more common in women. It is most commonly diagnosed in women over the age of 50.
The causes of DCIS are not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to hormonal imbalances, exposure to radiation, and genetic factors. Risk factors for DCIS include a family history of breast cancer, a personal history of benign breast disease, and early onset of menstruation or late menopause.
DCIS is typically classified into different grades based on the appearance of the cells under a microscope. Low-grade DCIS cells are less abnormal than high-grade DCIS cells, and are less likely to become invasive cancer. However, even low-grade DCIS cells can become invasive over time if left untreated.
Treatment for DCIS may involve surgery to remove the abnormal cells, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy. The main goal of treatment is to prevent the abnormal cells from becoming invasive cancer. Surgery options may include lumpectomy (removal of the abnormal cells and some surrounding tissue) or mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Radiation therapy may be used after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence. Hormone therapy may be used in cases where the abnormal cells are hormone-receptor positive.
The prognosis for DCIS is generally good, with a 10-year survival rate of over 90%. However, there is a risk of recurrence and progression to invasive breast cancer, particularly in high-grade DCIS cases. Therefore, long-term follow-up and surveillance is important for patients with DCIS.
In summary, DCIS is a type of non-invasive breast cancer that is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells within the milk ducts of the breast. It is usually detected through routine mammograms and may not present any symptoms. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy, with the goal of preventing the abnormal cells from becoming invasive cancer. The prognosis for DCIS is generally good, although there is a risk of recurrence and progression to invasive breast cancer.