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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 914053, 7 pages
Review Article

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: What the Pathologist Needs to Know and Why

1Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8V 1C3
2Department of Oncology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8V 1C3

Received 6 November 2012; Revised 19 December 2012; Accepted 2 January 2013

Academic Editor: Rebecca A. Shelby

Copyright © 2013 Anita Bane. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ductal carcinoma in situ is a proliferation of malignant epithelial cells confined to the ductolobular system of the breast. It is considered a pre-cursor lesion for invasive breast cancer and when identified patients are treated with some combination of surgery, +/− radiation therapy, and +/adjuvant tamoxifen. However, no good biomarkers exist that can predict with accuracy those cases of DCIS destined to progress to invasive disease or once treated those patients that are likely to suffer a recurrence; thus, in the era of screening mammography it seems likely that many patients with DCIS are overtreated. This paper details the parameters that should be included in a pathology report for a case of DClS with some explanations as to their importance for good clinical decision making.