(optional – but your answers are important for us to help figure out how best to use this tool)
Active surveillance involves frequently monitoring a patient’s condition. Treatment is delayed unless test results show that the condition has got worse. It aims to protect quality of life by delaying surgery.
A lumpectomy removes only breast tissue that contains DCIS. As much of the unaffected breast as possible is left. A small amount of healthy, normal tissue around the DCIS is also removed. This is to make sure that this area is clear of any abnormal cells. This is called a clear margin.
Breast-conserving surgery is less radical surgery than mastectomy (a lumpectomy is an example of breast-conserving surgery). Breast-conserving surgery only removes part of the breast tissue during surgery, as opposed to the entire breast.
Endocrine (hormone-blocking) therapy is typically used for DCIS that responds to treatment that blocks hormones. Medication to control hormone levels may lower future risk. This includes a future DCIS or invasive breast cancer. However, benefits gained should be weighed against potential side effects.
Radiation may not be necessary for women with low-risk DCIS. It may provide peace of mind by lowering the chance of a future breast condition. But there are side effects and it can only be done once; this is important in case breast cancer develops in the future.
A mastectomy is surgery which usually removes all breast tissue. It may be recommended if radiation therapy is not possible. Mastectomy may be suggested if there are several areas of DCIS in the breast or if there is a lot of DCIS within the breast. A mastectomy reduces the risk of future breast cancer.
The surgical removal of both breasts is called a double or bilateral mastectomy.