DCIS treatment

I have been dx with dcis high grade in two areas of 10mm and been told only option is a masectomy, as my husband is terminally ill they have said I can delay surgery for 3 months stating i am not in any immediate danger has anyone else delayed treatment, I am so confused they say it is a very small area but only treatment is a masectomy.

Best wishes

I had focal DCIS which they can treat via a wide local excision. Where it occurs in several areas they think it is wide spread through the breast in more than one duct, hence mastectomy. It seems like overkill for what is a pre-cancerous condition but the reasoning is better safe than sorry.

I had a quarter of my breast removed. I had no idea what it would look like as all the books said you’d end up with a dent or ‘less full if the area of surgery’ whatever that meant. Being small breasted I thought it would look crap and as far as I am concerned five years later I haven’t changed my opinion.

With mastectomy you can opt for reconstruction but there aren’t that many surgeons who do this surgery. Some breast units do immediate reconstruction but it usually involves two surgeons working together on it, one cancer surgeon and one plastic surgeon.

You have time to research different options.


I had grade 3 invasive DCIS which was wide spread through out my left breast.

Firstly had SNB and WLE in March 06, without clear margins and the breast surgeon wanted me to have a mast but let me go for another WL in April 06 to see if there were clear margins. However there wasn’t so the only option I had to get rid of it was to have the mast. This took place in July 06 and I had immediate recon at the same time but only one surgeon did my op. (The plastic surgeon did the mast and recon for me).

So from start to finish it took four months to get clear margins.

One of the biggest factors in predicting whether DCIS will return is getting clear margins after surgery. With breast sparing surgery (wide local excision/r lumpectomy) there is always a risk that some cancer cells will remain and usually they only offer this when there are isolated small areas of DCIS and/or if it is low or intermediate grade. I had intermediate grade DCIS which was 6mm and had a WLE with clear margins. There was never any offer of a mastectomy as I am sure it is in everyone’s interest to go for the least radical surgery. So, with two areas of high grade DCIS, your surgeon clearly is doubtful that he can get clear margins and thinks that the best clinical treatment would be a mastectomy… With regards to your wait for three months, I wouldn’t have thought that would be an issue. It has probably been there for some time. I am so sorry that you are having to go through looking after your very ill husband and face breast surgery too. My mother lost my father in the December and had to have a mastectomy in the January - she didn’t have time to get her head round anything for ages.


Thanks for your replies, going back after xmas to discuss operation with BC nurse and reconstruction options.
depending on situation may wait for recon.


I had a delayed treatment. I was dx with DCIS high grade comedo necrosis and the size of the tumour lession was 35 mm at least, then I changed hospital and the waiting time turned out to be longer due to various reasons. I was operated nine weeks after the final biopsy path result and was told that the delay would produce an implication. However after the mastectomy the path test showed that I also have invasive ductal carcinoma grade 1. I am sure your consultant should be able to assure you. Very sorry to hear about your ill hubby.

I went back to see surgeon after xmas and as hubby was feeling o.k. and wanted me to have op while he is still fairly mobile etc. am booked in for Mon 19th Jan for mastectomy( no recon )will perhaps consider that later. Unfortunately hubby has not been to good for the pass week but has picked up a bit now, been for pre op assessment today so fingers crossed this time next week I will be back home.
I have read many of the threads on this forum and found them all very encouraging so many of you have been on a vary long journey and you all keep smiling.
Best wishes to you all.

How are you feeling after your surgery Maggie?

Hi Suzanne,

Op went o.k. no problems went in Monday midday down to thearte at 2pm back on ward 4.30 home wed midday could have come home tuesday evening but felt it was to soon, still quite sore more uncomfortable then painful but it is only 11 days on.

Went back wed for checkup and results, which was “fantastic news”
no more treatment still only the 2 areas and lymph nodes clear.go back for checkup in 6 months

Getting used to the comfie in bra had a good laugh I looked like Dolly Parton on that side and had to take most of the filling out have a bagfull of it. go back in 6-8 weeks for prothesis now that may be a different story.

Best wishes

Hi Maggie,

So glad to hear the surgery went well and no nodes involved. You certainly sound like you’re in good spirits - I can’t comment about prosthesis as I had a WLE for intermediate grade DCIS but lots of ladies on here are happy enough with them to not even bother with a reconstruction so they can’t be that bad!

Take it easy and get some R&R too!


My sister has rung me to ask if I would talk to her friend who has just been diag with dcis. I don’t mind at all as so many people were there for me, but my BC was invasive, so know very little about dcis.

Just wanted to say thanks, as just reading this thread has helped me to understand the condition more, ready for her call tomorrow. She is in a delema about the choices of mast v lumpectomy as they have told her they will need to remove 1/4 of breast at least.

Great news that only a mast needed in your case!


Hi Irene,

Sorry to hear about your sister’s friend, DCIS can be very confusing
as there is no guarantee that the cells will not go on to become invasive cells you are really in the hands of the consultants, unfortunately as two areas showing the only option for me was a mast.
at the time I felt it seem so drastic but now totally feel it was the right decision as have the worry of “if and when will things change” lifted. As for losing my breast yes i am sad but hey at 59 I am not likely to be flashing them about.

Best wishes to you all.

Thanks Maggie. I spoke to the friend, she asked me to tell her what to do! Needless to say I didn’t, but I think she may have the mastectomy. It is hard when we have to make what is a clinical decision ourselves. I didn’t have dcis, but had the same choice, I went for the mastectomy, and yes I am said too but still alive.


Hi Irene,

Hope your friend can come to a decision that is right for her, I agree it would be much easier if the consultants made the decision for us but unfortunatley they can only guide us, as for telling someone what to do I agree with you it does have to be their choice but coming from someone she knows who has been through it may be a comfort to her.
On telling a long time old friend I had a mastectomy and why, with out any hesitation she said she would have done the same which made me feel a lot better.

Hope all goes well for her.
Best wishes