Ductal Carcinoma in Situ Diagnosis

Ductal carcinoma in situ is most commonly seen on a mammogram; however, some patients may experience a palpable mass or nipple discharge.

Symptoms of DCIS

Generally, there are no signs or symptoms of DCIS. It is usually not something that a patient or physician can feel. Some people have a lump or slight discharge from the nipple, but most cases of DCIS are found on a mammogram.

If DCIS is suspected on a mammogram, a biopsy may be ordered.

Staging DCIS

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is considered Stage 0. It is the earliest form of breast cancer; the cancer cells are still within a duct and have not invaded deeper into the surrounding fatty breast tissue.

DCIS Second Opinion

If you were diagnosed at another health care center, and are coming to Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center for treatment, or for a second opinion, additional diagnostic tests may be necessary.

Penn uses specific diagnostic imaging tools, tests and procedures that are often more modern than what is available elsewhere. The results of these tools help us to develop your personalized treatment plan.

In advance of your second opinion, we may request:

  • Pathology slides
  • Copies of recent images (CT scans, for example)
  • Health records
  • A list of dates and facts about your past treatments, personal health history, or any other facts and dates relevant to your current diagnosis

Come to your appointment with a list of as many questions as possible. Sometimes, it can be difficult to think of or remember everything during a visit. A list of questions prepared in advance will ensure you get the information you are looking for.

If you forget a question, or have more questions after your appointment, you can communicate with us via www.myPennMedicine.org, our secure patient portal. The portal allows for fluid communications with your entire team of health care providers.

Finally, plan to have a friend, family member or support person come with you to your diagnostic appointment. He or she can help take down information, recall the conversation and be of general support throughout the process.