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October 2009 Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource Highlights Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, New Hearing Aid Options and Self-Acceptance
Date:10/24/2009

eatment approach is still being debated.

Lumpectomy or mastectomy: Most women with DCIS are good candidates for a lumpectomy, where a portion of breast tissue is removed. However, there's a slightly higher chance that the cancer will return after a lumpectomy than after a mastectomy, which involves removal of breast tissue, skin, areola and nipple.

Mastectomy is commonly recommended when the area of DCIS is large or in several parts of one breast. Women may choose this option if they can't have or don't want radiation. Some women choose to have both breasts removed to prevent recurrence or a new cancer.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is almost always recommended after a lumpectomy. Research has shown that it significantly reduces the chances that DCIS will recur or progress to an invasive form of cancer. Radiation is usually given five days a week for five to six weeks. Some research has questioned whether this approach is overly aggressive, particularly for older women with small, slow-growing tumors.

Tamoxifen therapy: Tamoxifen is a synthetic hormone that can be used to help treat or prevent the development of breast cancers. It's approved as therapy after surgery or radiation to prevent recurrence of DCIS or a new cancer in the opposite breast. But, some doctors don't recommend it because no evidence shows that tamoxifen improves long-term survival with this type of cancer. Taking tamoxifen can result in side effects such as hot flashes. And tamoxifen may increase the risk of blood clots and cancer of the uterus.

Researchers are attempting to better understand which women with DCIS are at highest and lowest risk of recurrence. That information would help in determining the most appropriate treatment. In the meantime, patients and their care providers should discuss the pros and cons of all treatment approaches.

New Hearing Aid Options: Looking Good
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