The ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) recurrence rate is generally low in comparison to that of other types of cancer. The reason is that ductal carcinoma in situ – by definition – is limited to a small and specific area of the body, which frequently makes it possible for a surgeon to remove all of the cancerous cells from a patient’s body. The recurrence rate is less than 15 percent for patients who have a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous cells, followed by radiation therapy to destroy any that were not visible or accessible during surgery.
Patients who experience a ductal carcinoma in situ recurrence typically do so within 10 years of receiving their original diagnosis. Characteristics that have been associated with an increased risk of recurrence include:
- Having a large amount of cancer (10 millimeters or greater) removed during the first round of treatment
- Not receiving radiation therapy after surgery
- Having a high-or intermediate-grade cancer
- Having been diagnosed with DCIS during a physical exam rather than a routine screening
Even though the DCIS recurrence rate is generally low, survivors should still participate in regular screenings. Having a history of breast cancer – even stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ – is considered to be a risk factor for developing breast cancer in the future. In approximately 50 percent of cases, breast cancer that comes back after DCIS treatment is found to be invasive. As a result, routine mammograms and physical exams are crucial for detecting any abnormalities as early in their development as possible.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our oncologists and research teams are dedicated to improving early detection methods and reducing recurrence rates for ductal carcinoma situ. Through our clinical trials and advanced research programs, we are continually developing newer and more effective therapies for all types and stages of breast cancer.
Patients do not need referrals to benefit from our clinical research, knowledge or expansive range of treatment options. To make an appointment at Moffitt, submit a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488.