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Ductal Carcinoma: You & Your Dignity Health Team

Cancer that begins in the breast’s milk ducts is called ductal carcinoma. Noninvasive ductal carcinoma — ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) — is stage 0 breast cancer. It is the earliest form of breast cancer. During this stage, cancer cells are growing within the lining of milk ducts and have not spread anywhere else in the breast. They remain in place, or in situ, inside the duct.

Invasive ductal carcinoma starts in the milk duct and spreads to other breast tissues or outside the breast. It is also the most common form of breast cancer — 80 percent of women with breast cancer in the US have this type.

If you have been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in Arizona, rely on our team of oncologists experts at Dignity Health’s Cancer Center to provide specialized care. Find a Doctor near you today or call (855) 970-2527 (8222).


Determining Your Risk for Ductal Carcinoma in Arizona

Being a young woman is the biggest risk factor for developing any breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma. Men can get breast cancer, too, but it’s rare.

Your risk for ductal carcinoma also increases with: 

  • Increasing age
  • Family or personal history of breast cancer,
  • Early menstruation (younger than 12)
  • Late menopause (older than 55)
  • Caucasian race
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Diethylstilbestrol exposure
  • Previous chest radiation therapy
  • Defects in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes

If you have these risk factors, talk with your gynecologist at Dignity Health about preventing breast cancer.


Diagnosing Symptoms of Ductal Carcinoma

A mammogram usually finds ductal carcinoma. Signs are rare for DCIS. For invasive ductal carcinoma, women may notice a lump, nipple discharge, skin or nipple changes, pain, or swelling. If you feel any symptoms, get to a doctor right away.

Most cases of ductal carcinoma can be seen on a mammogram as clusters of tiny spots called microcalcifications. Your doctor will likely recommend a biopsy of the worrisome area to examine the cells in these clusters. The biopsy will provide the information needed to guide your treatment plan.


Treatment & Prevention of Ductal Carcinoma

At Dignity Health, we use the latest tools for diagnosis and treatment, so you can be confident you are receiving advanced care paired with humankindness. 

Ductal carcinoma treatment usually involves surgery, even if the cancer remains confined to the milk duct. There are two general types of surgery. One is a lumpectomy, a breast-conserving surgery that removes the tumor and some normal tissue surrounding it. Radiation therapy is usually necessary after lumpectomy. The other type of surgery is a mastectomy, which removes the entire breast.

Other treatment options may include:

The most effective prevention for ductal carcinoma is having an annual screening mammogram — schedule yours with one of our professionals today.

Dignity Health provides personal care during your journey with ductal carcinoma in Arizona.