The psychosocial impact of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS): a longitudinal prospective study

Breast. 2010 Oct;19(5):382-7. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2010.03.024. Epub 2010 Apr 21.


DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer, increasingly detected through routine breast screening. Patients are reassured that the condition is early and not life-threatening but they undergo surgery similar to that used in the treatment of invasive breast cancer (IBC). Little research has explored the psychosocial impact of DCIS, especially in the UK. A longitudinal, prospective study was therefore conducted to address this gap. Fifty women newly diagnosed with DCIS were followed over the first year post-diagnosis. Anxiety and depression significantly reduced from baseline to 6 months. Body image distress was relatively stable, but extensive for some women. Those undergoing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction experienced significantly greater body image concerns. This study highlights that DCIS patients can experience psychosocial distress that is often transient but in some cases extensive and prolonged. Appropriate psychosocial support is needed to help DCIS patients adjust to the diagnosis, its treatment and long-term implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Body Image
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / psychology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / surgery
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mastectomy / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom