Fast Five Quiz: The Recurrence Risks for Breast Cancer

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD


February 08, 2022

Margin width is the most important independent predictor of local recurrence of pure ductal carcinoma in situ that has been treated by excision alone. However, lumpectomy plus whole-breast radiation is preferred over lumpectomy alone. Breast-conserving therapy alone should be considered only in cases in which the patient and the physician view the individual as having a low risk for disease recurrence. When ductal carcinoma in situ is treated with breast-conserving surgery plus whole-breast irradiation, the use of a 2-mm margin is associated with lower rates of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence.

Other factors to consider when assessing the adequacy of excision in ductal carcinoma in situ include patient life expectancy, presence of residual calcifications, and cosmetic impact of re-excision. About half of the local recurrences after the initial treatment of a pure ductal carcinoma in situ are invasive in nature, and the other half recur as pure ductal carcinoma in situ.

Learn more about breast cancer recurrence.


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