One woman's DCIS may not be the same as another woman's. Their treatments may be the same or different. Their responses to treatment may be the same or different. DCIS requires treatment that is tailored specifically to an individual's cancer.
The goals of treatment are to: (a) eliminate the DCIS, (b) limit the risk of local recurrence, and (c) eliminate the chance of developing an invasive breast cancer.
Treatment for DCIS doesn't have to start right away. Patients have some time (several months is not unheard of) from the time of diagnosis to learn about and choose their treatment options.
Chemotherapy is not indicated for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Clear surgical margins are very important in determining treatment (see Biopsy).
The patient and her physician must discuss the benefits and risks of each treatment option. Each woman must evaluate how her choice of treatment is likely to affect her sense of disease control, self-esteem, sexuality, physical functioning and overall quality of life.