Ductal Carcinoma In Situ : Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Abbreviation: DCIS.The breasts are made up of lobules (milk-producing glands) and ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple), which are supported by glandular, fibrous and fatty tissue. Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to divide and grow in an abnormal way. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ is an early form of breast cancer, where the cancer cells have developed inside the milk ducts but remain `in situ' and have not yet developed the ability to spread outside the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue or to other parts of the body. Because of this you may hear DCIS described as a pre-invasive, intraductal or non-invasive cancer. Both men and women can develop DCIS, however it is very rare in men. DCIS is being diagnosed more frequently. DCIS now accounts for between 20% and 25% of all breast cancers detected in womenwho have regular mammograms.The exact causes of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ are still not known. However, certain women are at an increased risk of developing it. These include women who experienced a late menopause or women who started their periods very early in their life. Women with a family history of breast cancer are also susceptible to this condition. The role that genes play in the development of breast cancer is an area of intense research. Diet may play a role in developing Ductal Carcinoma In Situ and breast cancer, but that role is still unclear and no specific cause-and-effect connection to the development of DCIS. Recent studies indicate that a healthy lifestyle is important, including a low-fat diet, regular exercise, sleep, and a low stress level. Recent epidemiological studies also show that too much alcohol (wine, hard liquor, or beer) may play a role in the development of DCIS and breast cancer.Ductal Carcinoma In Situ is often split into three groups:Low grade.
Symptoms:Most women suffering from Ductal Carcinoma In Situ do not show any signs or symptoms. However, a small percentage of women with DCIS may have a lump in the breast. Occasionally DCIS may cause a discharge of fluid from the nipple, rash also present in some cases.Diagnosis:Most cases of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ are detectedduring screening by mammography. Mammography is a procedure that uses low dose amplitude x-rays for examining the breast tissue. The DCISusually shows on the mammogram as smallclusters of specks of calcium in the breast ducts.These specks are termed microcalci?cation.It is important to understand that mostmicrocalci?cation is not cancerous.When an area of abnormal microcalci?cationhas been found, the doctor needs to obtaintissue from the area so that it can be sent tothe laboratory for testing to con?rm that it isDCIS.Treatment:The goals of treatment are to eliminate the DCIS, limit the risk of local recurrence, and eliminate the chance of developing an invasive breast cancer. Surgery is usually the first treatment for DCIS. This may be breast-conserving surgery. The surgery for DCIS usually depends on its extent and its grading.Wide local excision or removal of the Ductal Carcinoma In Situ is more commonly used for small areas of low grade DCIS.
Wide local excision followed by radiation therapy may be recommended if you have high grade DCIS. Radiotherapy is generally given five days a week for three to six weeks.
Mastectomy is recommended for women who have a large area of DCIS or several separate areas of DCIS within the breast. If mastectomy is recommended you may like to discuss breast reconstruction with your surgeon.
Hormone therapy: If you have oestrogen-receptor positive Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, you may be prescribed a drug called tamoxifen which is designed to counteract the effects of oestrogen. Clinical trials are continuing to test hormonal therapies for treating DCIS. You might be offered hormonal therapy to treat your DCIS. This will depend on whether you have hormone receptors on your DCIS cells. It's important to weigh up the benefits and side effects of hormonal therapy for your situation. Ask your doctors about the side effects of hormone therapy.Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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