In the aftermath of a large study on one of the most perplexing of all breast cancers — ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS — Mayo clinician Dr. Sandhya Pruthi said the primary challenge of identifying the condition remains helping patients decide what to do next.
"I really do think we need, from a best practices viewpoint, to better understand the features of an individual's DCIS diagnosis," she said. "We need more research on which DCIS type based on aggressiveness needs treatment, whether that be lumpectomy, radiation or mastectomy.
"If we can better individualize that some forms of DCIS don't need (those treatments), and use tools to come up with that information, we are going to be a lot better about giving patients the right treatment at the right time."
The study, which was published in the journal JAMA Oncology and is the largest of its kind to date, looked at the 10- and 20-year survival rates of 108,196 women diagnosed with DCIS.
The condition refers to cancerous cells within milk ducts and has been called "Stage 0 Cancer," because the cells have not left their area of origin.