Aim: To seek differences between ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) according to the menopausal status of patients and to analyze their repercussions on patient care.
Patients and methods: A multicenter retrospective study of 384 patients from 3 centers specialized in breast cancer surgery was carried out based on an analysis of the various characteristics (clinical, therapeutic, histologic, outcome) of DCIS between two groups of post- and pre-menopausal patients.
Results: At the time of diagnosis, 58.6% of the patients were menopausal. Compared to these patients, DCIS in premenopausal women was more frequently associated with initial clinical signs (p=0.006), a larger tumor size (p=0.02), involved margins after initial surgery (p=0.005), and surgical re-excision (p=0.03). The mammograms of the menopausal patients indicated a worse prognosis (using the American College of Radiology Classification) (p=0.025), and according to the histology report findings, more marked comedo necrosis (p=0.01). There was no difference in the other criteria (nuclear grade, multifocality, benign lesions associated with malignancy, relapse and its time of occurrence). The use of hormone replacement therapy had no effect on these data.
Conclusion: The characteristics of DCIS are similar, whether occuring before or after the menopause, but the phenotypic expression is different. Menopausal status should not be a criterion for changing patient care.