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International Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 761364, 12 pages
Review Article

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ of the Breast: A Surgical Perspective

Department of Surgical Oncology, Rehabilitation Associates of Northern Illinois, Rockford, IL 61111, USA

Received 13 January 2012; Revised 9 April 2012; Accepted 7 May 2012

Academic Editor: Bernando Bonanni

Copyright © 2012 Mohammed Badruddoja. 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 (DCIS) of the breast is a heterogeneous neoplasm with invasive potential. Risk factors include age, family history, hormone replacement therapy, genetic mutation, and patient lifestyle. The incidence of DCIS has increased due to more widespread use of screening and diagnostic mammography; almost 80% of cases are diagnosed with imaging with final diagnosis established by biopsy and histological examination. There are various classification systems used for DCIS, the most recent of which is based on the presence of intraepithelial neoplasia of the ductal epithelium (DIN). A number of molecular assays are now available that can identify high-risk patients as well as help establish the prognosis of patients with diagnosed DCIS. Current surgical treatment options include total mastectomy, simple lumpectomy in very low-risk patients, and lumpectomy with radiation. Adjuvant therapy is tailored based on the molecular profile of the neoplasm and can include aromatase inhibitors, anti-estrogen, anti-progesterone (or a combination of antiestrogen and antiprogesterone), and HER2 neu suppression therapy. Chemopreventive therapies are under investigation for DCIS, as are various molecular-targeted drugs. It is anticipated that new biologic agents, when combined with hormonal agents such as SERMs and aromatase inhibitors, may one day prevent all forms of breast cancer.