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Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the growth of abnormal cells in the milk ducts of the breast. It's a very early form of non-invasive breast cancer. Non-invasive means that the cells haven't spread. Some cases of DCIS will become invasive breast cancer, but it's impossible to know which ones.
The exact cause of DCIS isn't known. Getting older and being female may play a part.
Most of the time, DCIS doesn't cause symptoms. But in some cases, symptoms can include a lump in the breast or fluid or blood coming from the nipple.
DCIS is usually found during a mammogram, where it may look like a pattern of white areas or bits of calcium (calcifications). To diagnose DCIS, your doctor will remove a sample of breast tissue and look at it under a microscope. This is called a breast biopsy.
The main treatment for DCIS is:
Other treatments may include:
Clinical trials are being done to find out if other treatments are an option for some people with DCIS. Talk to your doctor if you're interested in a clinical trial.
Your doctor will talk with you about your options and then make a treatment plan.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Adaptation Date: 5/7/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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