Consumer Health: Understanding ductal carcinoma in situ

a close-up of a smiling middle-aged woman looking off into the distance

Breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women, according to the American Cancer Society. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S.

Ductal carcinoma in situ is considered the earliest form of breast cancer. It’s characterized by the presence of abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast. It’s noninvasive, meaning it hasn’t spread out of the milk duct and has a low risk of becoming invasive.

This early form of breast cancer typically doesn’t show any signs or symptoms. It usually is found during a mammogram performed as part of breast cancer screening or to investigate a breast lump. Treatment has a high likelihood of success.

Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment options for ductal carcinoma in situ.

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