Fast Five Quiz: Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Maurie Markman, MD; Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH


June 07, 2022

Ductal carcinoma in situ is not an invasive cancer and is often treated with breast-conserving surgery followed by radiation therapy. Breast-conserving surgery, also known as a lumpectomy, aims to remove the breast cancer while leaving as much normal breast tissue as possible. Regarding ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR), the Society of Surgical Oncology–American Society for Radiation Oncology–American Society of Clinical Oncology Consensus Guideline on Margins for Breast-Conserving Surgery With Whole-Breast Irradiation in Ductal Carcinoma in Situ states:

  • Positive margins have a twofold higher risk for IBTR

  • Wider margins do not significantly decrease IBTR compared with 2-mm margins

  • Biologic subtypes do not require margins wider than ink markings

  • IBTR rates are lowered with the use of systemic therapy

Studies have shown no survival benefit over mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery. However, breast-conserving surgery is associated with better cosmetic outcomes, lower psychological burden, and reduced postoperative complications.

Learn more about the management of early-stage breast cancer.


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