A: D.C.I.S. stands for ductal carcinoma in situ. It is a small pileup of abnormal cells in the lining of the milk duct. You cannot feel it because there’s nothing to be felt, there is no lump. But the cells can be seen in a mammogram, and when a pathologist examines them, they can look like cancer cells. The cells have not broken free of the milk duct orinvaded the breast. And they may never break free. The lesion might go away on its own or it might invade the breast or spread throughout the body. That raises questions about what, if anything, to do about it.
It is often called Stage 0 cancer, but researchers say their view of cancer is changing. They used to think cancers began as clusters of abnormal cells, and unless they were destroyed the cells would inevitably grow and spread and kill. Now they know that many – some say most or all – cancers can be...
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