In this article, we will explore the condition referred to intraductal carcinoma of the breast, in-depth. We will discuss this common form of cancer as well as, provide signs and symptoms to watch for, causes of this carcinoma, and medications and treatment options that successfully treat this form of cancer. Keep reading to discover more about intraductal breast carcinoma that in occurs in one out of every eight women in the U.S.
Intraductal carcinoma in situ (or DCIS) is the term used to refer to the earliest form of breast cancer. This introductory carcinoma happens when cancerous cells start growing in the milk duct part of the breast. Intraductal carcinoma in situ is noninvasive, which means it only affects the milk duct of the breast and has not spread to other parts of the breast. This condition can be commonly found with mammogram screenings.
It is possible to prevent the progression of this condition by practicing regular self check-ups and catching this condition, early on. Perform breast self-exams and schedule regular mammograms because it is important to identify and treat this form of carcinoma of the breast before it has a chance to spread and potentially become unmanageable. Many times, there are no apparent symptoms associated with intraductal breast carcinoma; however, some of the possible symptoms may include a breast lump or nipple discharge. This condition can be indicated by a radiologist when he or she notices small groups of irregular shaped, white calcium deposits are present during a regular mammogram screening.
The exact cause of DCIS is unknown, however, it is possible for this form of carcinoma could be caused by a number of reasons including genetic reasons, environmental factors (radiation exposure or exposure to certain chemicals), hormonal causes (women who experience early menstruation, late menopause, or never bore children are more susceptible to carcinoma of the breast), and causes may be contributed to lifestyle and diet (red meat may be a contributing factor to this condition).
There are several factors that may put women at a higher risk of this condition including, age, personal or family history of breast cancer (or atypical hyperplasia), if the first pregnancy happens after age thirty or the patient never becomes pregnant, long-term use of estrogen-progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for more than five years after menopause, and if you have genetic mutations (BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes).
Several treatment options are available for successful treatment of DCIS. Most cases can be treated with a surgical biopsy (lumpectomy – removal of the cancerous cells in the breast), radiation therapy, and a simple mastectomy. However, occasionally patients are treated with a lumpectomy and the drug tamoxifen (Nolvadex), which stops the growth of the tumor.
It is important to practice regular breast self-exams and to schedule regular mammograms with your doctor to catch this form and other tumors of the breast before they have a chance to spread or become more severe. If you are concerned about this condition, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss this condition, determine a prognosis, and discuss the best treatment options. Helpful treatment is available for intraductal carcinoma of the breast, especially if the tumor is identified early.