Signs and symptoms of DCIS

Most women with DCIS have no symptoms and only find out they have it when it’s found on a mammogram. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breast tissue. Because more women are having mammograms as part of the National Breast Screening Programme, DCIS is now diagnosed much more often than it used to be. One in every thousand women in the UK who attends breast screening is diagnosed with DCIS.

A small number of women with DCIS have symptoms such as:

  • a breast lump
  • discomfort or pain in one breast
  • fluid (discharge) coming out of the nipple
  • a rash or itching on or around the nipple.

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to have them checked by your GP.

Paget’s disease of the breast

Paget’s disease is a condition that affects the skin of the nipple. It causes redness and itching in the nipple and the darker area around it (areola). Women who have Paget’s disease may have underlying DCIS or an invasive breast cancer.

Back to Understanding DCIS

What is DCIS?

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the earliest possible form of breast cancer. It needs to be treated but is not life-threatening.

The breasts

Breasts are made up of fat, supportive (connective) tissue and glandular tissue containing milk lobes.

How is it treated?

There are five main types of cancer treatment. You may receive one, or a combination of treatments, depending on your cancer type.