Can anyone enlighten me as to why, if DCIS is in-situ and sometime referred to as pre-cancer, the treatment is so radical?

It is puzzling. I was so stricken after my lumpectomy for DCIS when the sugeon told me there were “murky margins”. Also my Frecnh lady surgeon who performedmy mastectomy six years later admitted that cancer cells could be spread DURING THE OPERATION!
Au revoir

Do you mean during the lumpectomy or the mastectomy?

My understanding is that DCIS eventually spreads and becomes invasive, that is why the treatment can be radical but it probably prevents a lot of future heartache. I was diagnosed with high grade DCIS in June. I was told that my cancer would have developed into an aggressive tumour within a year and I would have required chemo, mastectomy and possibly radiotherapy. Because it was found very early and in a small area, my treatment to date seems a lot but not as radical as it could have been.

Hi all

Our ‘DCIS’ factsheet may help to clarify some of your queries, you can read it via the following link:


Hope this is helpful. If anyone has any further questions you can email our ‘Ask the nurse’ team or contact our helpline, both services can be found under the ‘Support for you’ tab at the top of this page or on our homepage.

Breast Cancer Care

Both. Though she was replying to my question - why must I have chaemo and radiotherapy now that you have cut off the offending gland. Ah, she said, we cannot be sure there are not tiny microscopic cancer cells which escaped before we got to them .;;
Prompted by a friend who had primed me with a list of questions i said
" ;;; and perhaps during the operation?"
“Des fois, oui,” she admitted.
Subsequent scans, x rays and tests revealed nothing except two tiny gall stones but they still put me through the chaemo/radio business.
Probably for the best, eh?
Hope I have not scared anyone esp as am up and running at top speed 15 months on.
I am 72