Breast Carcinoma in Situ

Early detection through regular breast self-exams and a regular program of mammogram and physical exams show excellent results in curing it. Breast self exam is the process developed by the American cancer society for women to examine the breasts monthly. This process can reveal breast problem. Any swelling or unusual lumps or hardness in the breast is the indication of breast disease and a reason to rush to your doctor.

Treatment for DCIS is usually much more aggressive than it’s in situ cousin, LCIS (or lobular neoplasia). Even though it is a serious condition, there is plenty of time to educate yourself and weigh all your options concerning treatment and possible reconstruction. There is close to a 100% rate of success in treating DCIS with the standard medical treatment.

Some women may choose to take tamoxifen and may possibly participate in the STAR clinical trial. The STAR trial compares the effects and preventative effectiveness of tamoxifen and raloxifene. Both drugs reduce the amounts of hormones in the breast tissue. These drugs are usually taken for a period of five years. Tamoxifen has shown in studies to reduce the occurrence of more advanced breast cancer by up to 49% in women that have had LCIS or that have additional risk factors for developing breast cancer.

There are no ways to prevent breast cancer. However, breast cancer can be treated effectively if it is detected in an early stage. Self Breast Examination for lumps and unusual changes should be carried out each month, preferably at the same time each month to minimize effects of menstruation. A clinical breast examination should be done once every year from ages 29 – 39, and once every year from the age of 40.

Mucinous or colloid breast cancer accounts for five percent or less of breast malignancies. In this type, the cancer cells retain the ability to secrete mucin, a liquid material that accumulates within the cells. This type of cancer has a good prognosis and is not prone to spread to the lymph nodes and blood system.

Radiation therapy should be strongly considered for young women, women who have close margins, women with DCIS measuring more than ½ centimeter (cm) and/or those do not have low grade DCIS. On the other hand, studies show that even older women with DCIS measuring less than ½ cm, who have wide margins and/or low grade DCIS, benefit from the addition of radiation therapy.

Carcinoma is used if the abnormal cells have not yet spread to other parts of the breast and has only remained at the root location. This is actually considered the stage 0 in breast cancer staging. Although this increases the risk of developing breast cancer in the future, this is actually not considered as already a breast cancer.

Fibrocystic change is a breast condition, which is non-cancerous and has no risk whatsoever of increasing breast cancer. In some cases, however, this condition can cause detection with mammography a bit difficult because in fibrocystic breasts the breast density may tend to eclipse the breast cancer on a mammogram.

Unfortunately, the early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. This is why it is important to follow screening recommendations. As a tumor grows in size, it can produce a variety of symptoms including: lump or thickening in the breast or underarm, change in size or shape of the breast, nipple discharge or nipple turning inward, redness or scaling of the skin or nipple, ridges or pitting of the breast skin.

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