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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Breast Cancer - Carcinoma in Situ

(stage 0)

, Version 1.2016



Treatment planning

Grade III is often associated with comedo necrosis.

Comedo necrosis refers to the buildup of dead cells

within the duct.

All lab results are included in a pathology report that

gets sent to your doctors. It’s a good idea to ask for

a copy of your pathology reports. These reports are

used to plan treatment. Ask your treatment team any

questions about the lab results.

Estrogen receptor test

Estrogen is a hormone present in all women. Among

some women with DCIS, the cancer cells have

receptors to which estrogen attaches and causes the

cells to grow in number.

See Figure 3.1

. However,

the growth of cancer cells with estrogen receptors

is usually slower than cancer cells without these


Testing for estrogen receptors is important. There are

drugs that can be used to stop estrogen from causing

cancer growth. IHC (






hemistry) is the lab

test used by pathologists for estrogen receptors.

IHC involves applying a stain to cells then looking

at them with a microscope. The stain shows how

many cells have estrogen receptors and the amount

of estrogen receptors in the cells. If at least 1 out

of every 100 cancer cells stain positive, the cancer

is called estrogen receptor–positive DCIS. If fewer

cancer cells stain positive for estrogen receptors, the

cancer is called estrogen receptor–negative DCIS.

Figure 3.1 Estrogen receptors

Some breast cancers have of a high number of cells that have estrogen receptors. When

estrogen binds to these receptors, it causes the cells to increase in number. It is important

to test for estrogen receptors so that you can get the best cancer treatment.

Estrogen enters breast cells Estrogen binds to receptors

and triggers cell growth