Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a complex medical entity which presents challenges for the health professionals who manage the treatment and support of the increasing numbers of women diagnosed with the condition. Health professionals' perceptions and experiences of working with DCIS have rarely been explored, which this study sought to address. Two hundred and ninety-six UK health professionals involved with the treatment of DCIS patients were surveyed. Respondents had diverse perceptions of the condition. Explaining DCIS to patients was challenging for many respondents, and the terminology used varied considerably. This exploratory study highlights the substantial diversity in the perceptions and communication of DCIS among UK health professionals. The nature and implication of these variations and the professional challenges presented by DCIS warrant further exploration and debate in order to inform the provision of appropriate care, support and information to patients.