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Specialized Treatment for Noninvasive Breast Cancer


In noninvasive breast cancer, cancer cells have not yet spread to other parts of the breast. It is the earliest form of the disease and is also known as stage 0 breast cancer or in situ breast cancer. It starts in the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma) or the breast lobules (lobular carcinoma). Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is responsible for about one in five new breast cancer cases. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is actually a precancerous warning sign. It’s a very uncommon condition.

At Dignity Health’s Bay Area hospitals, our cancer care care team is here to help you, from preventative care and early detection to advanced diagnostic and treatment protocols. If you have been diagnosed with noninvasive breast cancer in the Bay Area, you can Find a Doctor at one of our convenient locations.

Noninvasive Breast Cancer Symptoms

Signs and symptoms are rare for DCIS. Doctors usually find this type of cancer during a routine mammogram. Very few women notice a lump or nipple discharge.

There are no symptoms of LCIS and it does not usually show up on a mammogram.

Diagnosis of Noninvasive Breast Cancer

DCIS usually appears on a mammogram as clusters of tiny specks, called microcalcifications. In order to determine the cancer’s hormone receptor status, grade, and type the doctor will order a biopsy.

In the majority of cases of LCIS, doctors find it during a biopsy for another breast condition.

Treatment of Noninvasive Breast Cancer

At Dignity Health, for DCIS usually involves surgery to remove the cancer from the milk duct. Lumpectomy removes the tumor and some surrounding normal tissue. Mastectomy removes the entire breast and may be necessary in cases where there are multiple areas of DCIS in the breast.

If the tumor is hormone receptor-positive, hormone therapy is an option after surgery. Hormone therapy either lowers the amount of hormones your body makes or blocks the hormone receptors, discouraging tumor growth.

LCIS does not require treatment, but it does increase your risk of developing breast cancer later. Your doctor may recommend hormone therapy, careful observation, or prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy to reduce your risk. 

The most effective prevention for all types of breast cancer is having an annual screening mammogram — schedule yours today at a Dignity Health hospital in the Bay Area. 

Dignity Health offers specialized treatment options for noninvasive breast cancer in San FranciscoSanta Cruz, and Redwood City.