What does the DCIS pathology report mean?

The DCIS pathology report contains important information about a woman’s DCIS that is used to decide on treatment recommendations.

Some of the information in the pathology report will only be available after breast surgery.

The pathology report usually includes the following information:

Size and location

The report shows the size of the DCIS and where it is in the breast. This will affect what treatments are recommended, including the type of surgery.

Surgical margin

During a surgical biopsy or breast conserving surgery, the surgeon removes the DCIS and an area of healthy looking tissue around the DCIS. The healthy looking tissue is called the surgical margin. If there are no DCIS cells in the surgical margin, it’s likely that all the DCIS has been removed. In this case, the surgical margin is said to be ‘clear’. If the surgical margin is not considered to be ‘clear’, more surgery may be required to ensure that all of the DCIS is removed.

Grade of DCIS

The grade of the DCIS shows how fast the abnormal cells are growing. DCIS grade is numbered from 1 to 3. A low grade (Grade 1) means that the DCIS is growing slowly. A high grade (Grade 3) means that the cancer is growing more quickly.

Hormone receptors

The report may show whether the DCIS cells are positive or negative for hormone receptors. This will affect whether hormonal therapies are recommended.