What does “DCIS” mean?

You are likely to find DCIS described in many different ways. You may see and hear low-risk DCIS being called abnormal cells, precancerous lesions, stage zero, and non-invasive breast cancer. Based on different research studies, some doctors say low-risk DCIS should be called an early-stage breast cancer, while others believe it does not behave like cancer at all.

“DCIS” stands for “ductal carcinoma in situ.” “Ductal” means it is contained within the milk ducts of the breast. The word “carcinoma” indicates that under the microscope, the cells look like cancer. The final part of the DCIS acronym, “in situ,” signals that these cells are contained (situated) inside the milk ducts in your breast.