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Women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are at
significantly increased risk of being diagnosed with a subsequent
invasive breast cancer according to study findings released today
by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and
National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC).
The study, Risk of invasive breast cancer in women diagnosed
with ductal carcinoma in situ in Australia between 1995 and
2005, provides the first Australian data on the risk of
invasive breast cancer following a diagnosis of DCIS.
'DCIS is a non-invasive tumour arising from, and contained
entirely within, a milk duct of the breast. About 1,600 women are
diagnosed with DCIS each year in Australia,' said Dr Helen Zorbas,
The study found that women diagnosed with DCIS were about four
times more likely to develop a subsequent invasive breast cancer
compared with other women of similar age in Australia.
'However, this risk was significantly higher for women who were
under 40 years of age when they were diagnosed with DCIS. These
women were about 20 times more likely than other Australian women
in this age range to develop a subsequent invasive breast cancer,'
said Christine Sturrock, Head of the AIHW's Cancer and Screening
While the risk of invasive breast cancer was higher for women
diagnosed with DCIS, these women generally had relatively small
invasive breast cancers and these cancers were less likely to have
spread to the lymph nodes.
'The practice of placing these women under closer medical
surveillance may be responsible for earlier diagnosis of subsequent
invasive breast cancers,' Ms Sturrock said.
'This study is an important step forward in our understanding of
the risk of invasive breast cancer in Australian women following a
diagnosis of DCIS and highlights the importance of ongoing medical
surveillance after treatment for DCIS,' said Dr Zorbas.
'Determining exactly which types of DCIS are linked to increased
risk of developing subsequent invasive breast cancer remains a key
question for future research,' said Dr Zorbas.
Tuesday 9 March 2010
Further information: Christine Sturrock, AIHW,
tel. 02 6244 1118, mob. 0407 915 851
To interview Dr Helen Zorbas, NBOCC, contact Erin Sharp on 0458
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
Risk of invasive breast cancer in women diagnosed with
ductal carcinoma in situ in Australia between 1995 and