NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer - Carcinoma in Situ
, Version 1.2016
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
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