Medicine (MD/DO)
Breast Disorders
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of Breast

Master Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of Breast with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of Breast

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of Breast
picmonic thumbnail
Lobular Carcinoma in Situ of Breast
picmonic thumbnail
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of Breast
picmonic thumbnail
Inflammatory Carcinoma of Breast
picmonic thumbnail
Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of Breast

Duck Car-gnome Seat-(2) Breasted-lady
Ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast (DCIS) is a noninvasive malignancy that arises from the terminal duct lobular unit. Microcalcifications and comedo necrosis may be seen on mammography and histology, respectively. Comedocarcinoma is a particularly malignant subtype that is high grade and shows dystrophic calcification patterns. Management is with surgical resection, mostly mastectomy. DCIS will progress to invasive breast cancer if not treated.
Noninvasive Malignancy
Nun-invader and Malignant-man

DCIS is a noninvasive malignancy. This means it does not infiltrate adjacent mammary ductal glands or stroma. However, there is still histological evidence of malignant cells.

Terminal Duct Lobular Unit (TDLU)
Terminator Duck Ear Lobe Unite

The terminal duct lobular unit (TDLU) is the primary site of lactogenesis in breast tissue. Breast cancers often arise from the TDLU.


90% of women with DCIS have microcalcifications on mammography. Microcalcifications have different patterns, which are highly suggestive of DCIS. Linear branching or segmental types are frequently associated with high nuclear grade, comedo type lesions, while fine, granular calcifications are primarily linked with low grade, micropapillary or cribriform lesions.

Comedo Necrosis
Comedy Necrosis-crow

There are several necrosis patterns in breast cancer. The comedo type is described by notable necrosis in the center. The necrotic material commonly becomes calcified. The comedo type is more often associated with invasion, and comedo necrosis in patients with DCIS seems to be a strong predictor for the risk of ipsilateral breast recurrence after treatment.

Comedian in Car-gnome

Comedocarcinoma is an aggressive type of DCIS. It is characterized by the presence of central necrosis as cellular debris completely fills and dilates the ducts and lobules in the TDLU with plugs of high-grade tumor cells.

High Grade
High Grade

High-grade lesions typically display a lack of estrogen and progesterone receptors and are highly proliferative. Also, this subtype shows overexpression of the HER2 oncogene, and mutations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

Dystrophic Calcification
Disc-trophy Calcified-Cow

Microcalcifications are one of the main categories of abnormalities detectable by mammograms. The widespread uptake of screening mammography has been associated with a marked increase in the diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), as this lesion is frequently associated with dystrophic calcifications, particularly when comedo necrosis is present.

Surgical Resection

Mastectomy is curative for over 98% of patients with DCIS. Disease recurrence is rare after mastectomy (1 to 2%). Women treated with mastectomy are candidates for breast reconstruction; immediate reconstruction is usually preferred. Women with unilateral DCIS are at a moderately increased chance of developing either invasive breast cancer or DCIS in the contralateral breast. Therefore, bilateral prophylactic mastectomy is preferred by some patients to prevent future breast cancer. Breast-conserving therapy (BCT) refers to wide excision of the tumor with negative surgical margins followed by radiation therapy (RT) to eradicate any residual disease. Lumpectomy is wide excision of the lesion with negative margins. Studies comparing BCT with mastectomy for DCIS have demonstrated equivalent long-term survival. However, local recurrence rates are higher with BCT.

Progresses to Invasive Breast Cancer
Invader-alien Breasted Tumor-character

If left untreated, DCIS may become invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast. This will demonstrate stromal invasion and adjacent fibrosis. IDC is the most common type of malignant breast cancer.


Take the Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of Breast Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,890,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.