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Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Is it cancer?

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is nowadays a quite frequent diagnosis of malignancy in breast screening. But is it really cancer? The phrase "in situ" is Latin for "in position". Translating it freely, we could name it "local ductal carcinoma". DCIS consists of cancer cells that grow inside a lactiferous duct and, unlike invasive cancer, do ...
Oncoplastic surgery

In the 70s, clinical trials showed that in the surgical treatment of breast cancer local excision of the tumor (partialmastectomy or lumpectomy), followed by post-operative radiation therapy, has a therapeutic result equivalent to that of total mastectomy. This way, most women can now avoid mastectomy, an especially amputating procedure accompanied by intense psychological ...
Sentinel lymph node biopsy

The surgical exploration of the armpit is an integral part of surgical treatment for breast cancer. This way we can see if the disease has spread to the lymph nodes of the armpit. This piece of information is very important in determining the stage of the disease, assessing the prognosis and selecting the required post-operative systemic treatment. In the past, the exploration ...
Core needle biopsy and frozen section. Myths and reality.

In each case of suspicious breast lesion, confirmation of the malignancy with a biopsy is necessary before deciding about the final treatment method. For several decades, open surgical biopsy was the method of choice for diagnosing cancer. The term "open surgical biopsy" means surgical removal of the tumor and histological examination of the specimen. In most cases, ...
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