NIH State-of-the-Science Conference Statement on Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

There is controversy in the breast health care community about using the term “carcinoma” for a non-invasive tumor (DCIS or LCIS).  I want to share with you the abstract from the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference Statement on Ductal Carcinoma in Situ which was just published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.  There is a link in the abstract to the full conference statement if you should wish to read it.  What I found particularly interesting was the quote:

“Clearly, the diagnosis and management of DCIS is highly complex with many unanswered questions, including the fundamental natural history of untreated disease. Because of the noninvasive nature of DCIS, coupled with its favorable prognosis, strong consideration should be given to elimination of the use of the anxiety-producing term “carcinoma” from the description of DCIS. The outcomes in women treated with available therapies are excellent. Thus, the primary question for future research must focus on the accurate identification of patient subsets diagnosed with DCIS, including those persons who may be managed with less therapeutic intervention without sacrificing the excellent outcomes presently achieved.”

Much research needs to be pursued in how to properly treat “in situ” disease, and perhaps it is time to remove the term “in situ carcinoma” from the breast pathology literature?

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