Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

Mastectomy for DCIS: pathology results

A few weeks after surgery, the women we spoke with had an outpatient’s appointment with the doctor, who checked that the breast was healing well and talked to them about their pathology results. Waiting for these results was often a difficult time but most women were pleased and relieved to be told they were clear and would need no further treatment. A few said they needed radiotherapy or hormone therapy (see Radiotherapy and Healthtalk - Breast Cancer site). Some women who had lymph nodes removed were relieved to hear that these were clear and they’d had no invasive breast cancer.
 
Two women said that, when they got their pathology results, less DCIS was found than doctors first suspected. This made them question whether they could have been treated by wide local excision instead of a mastectomy. A few said that, as well as DCIS, some invasive breast cancer cells had also been removed. One woman said she was told that, as well as DCIS, she’d had Paget’s disease (a rare cancer affecting the nipple).
Many women, including those who’d had breast reconstruction, also talked about their changed body image and life after DCIS.

Last reviewed July 2017.

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