Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a form of noninvasive breast cancer which usually affects women in their sixth decade of life. The disease is characterized by a proliferation of malignant ductal epithelial cells without microscopic invasion through the basement membrane. The categories of DCIS include comedo and noncomedo. The comedo subtype is identified by the presence of necrotic cellular debris within the ducts and large pleomorphic nuclei with numerous mitoses. It is the most common form and also the most aggressive. Noncomedo DCIS has low mitotic rates and does not exhibit central necrosis. It is further classified into cribiform, solid, micropapillary, and papillary subtypes. It is believed that all forms of DCIS will eventually become invasive breast cancer if left untreated.
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