When breast cancer is referred to as non-invasive this means the cancer cells are in the lobule or duct and they have not moved to the lymph nodes or spread outside the breast. Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) which is also known as intraductal carcinoma or stage 0 breast cancer, is noninvasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. This indicates that the duct lining cells have transformed into cancer cells, but they have not penetrated the duct walls and have not spread to adjacent breast tissue.
DCIS can occasionally progress to invasive cancer. At that point, cancer has left the duct and entered the adjacent tissue; from there it may have metastasized to other parts of the body.
Some of the symptoms that may present as a result of non-invasive breast cancer include:
During the diagnosis of non-invasive breast cancer, the doctor will do a physical examination which involves feeling for the lumps in the patient’s breast as well as swollen nodes in the underarm area.
He/she might recommend the following tests for further evaluation:
Since DCIS is unlikely to spread outside the breast, timely treatment is highly recommended, because if left untreated, some DCIS cells may continue to undergo abnormal changes and growth that may lead them to develop into invasive breast cancer.
An individual with invasive breast cancer has an option to choose between breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and simple mastectomy modes of treatment. However, in a situation where DCIS has spread throughout the breast, a mastectomy is recommended.
Breast-conserving surgery (BCS): During this procedure, the surgeon removes the tumor along with some nearby healthy breast tissue. The removal of lymph nodes might not be necessary with BCS but might be done after the first surgery if invasive cancer is discovered.
Radiation therapy is normally administered to the patient after BCS to lower the chance of the cancer recurring to the same breast. BCS without radiation is considered a non-standard treatment but could be an option for older women.
Mastectomy: The procedure involves the removal of the entire breast. This mode of treatment is very important if the area covered with DCIS is large or presence of many separate areas of DCIS in different quadrants of the breast.
Hormone therapy after breast surgery: In the event where the DCIS is receptor-positive, treatment with tamoxifen, or aromatase inhibitor can be used to lower the risk of DCIS recurrence.
Non-invasive breast cancer, also known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), is a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk ducts of the breast and has not spread into surrounding breast tissue or beyond.
Non-invasive breast cancer or DCIS is usually diagnosed through a mammogram or other imaging test. If an abnormality is detected, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Non-invasive breast cancer or DCIS is not considered life-threatening, as it has not spread to other parts of the body. However, if left untreated, it can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the future.
The outlook for women with non-invasive breast cancer or DCIS is generally good, particularly if it is detected early and treated promptly. The risk of recurrence can vary depending on factors such as the size and grade of the tumor and the type of treatment received.