Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)


Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a type of breast cancer that the abnormal cells occur at the milk duct of the breasts. It is common among women. Each breast has milk ducts which are tubes that allow milk to move from the lobes to the nipple for breastfeeding.

DCIS is a non-invasive type of cancer, therefore the cancer cells are confined at the milk ducts and have not spread through to the wall ducts to affect other surrounding breast tissues.

DCIS needs to be evaluated and the treatment options must be considered, even though the disease is not an emergency case. Surgecal removal of all the breast tissues, or radiation therapy are two possible procedures for breast-conserving treatments. Alternatives to surgery may include a clinical trial looking at active monitoring.


DCIS usually doesn’t have any signs and symptoms. Imaging examinations, including mammogram is frequently used to detect DCIS. However, some patient may have the following signs:

  • Lump at the breast
  • Discharge from the nipples

If you notice any signs and symptoms at the breast, then you could make an appointment with your doctor.


Cause of the disease have not yet been determined by the specialists, but risk factors had been identified that increase the risk of having a DCIS.
The lifestyles, the environment that the person live in, and the genes from the parents are all potential contributing factors.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase DCIS risk includes.

  • Age: all ages are at risk to develop DCIS. The risk increases with age.
  • Family History: It is possible to develop a DCIS if there is a history of breast cancer or breast diseases from the mother or siblings. History of atypical hyperplasia could also increase the risk.
  • Late pregnancy: those who has their first pregnancy at the later age such as 30 years and above, have higher risk to develop DCIS.
  • Never been pregnant: those who never been pregnant are high risk of DCIS
  • Age of menstruation: early menstruation before the age of 12 or late menopausal at the age of 55 and above may increase the risk of having DCIS.
  • Genetic Mutations: such as those in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 that increases the risk of breast cancer