Advances in methods used to diagnose breast cancer have resulted in the increased detection of ductal carcinoma in situ; most of these are detected by screening mammograms and are confirmed by core needle biopsy. Currently, classification schemas are moving toward a molecular approach. Treatment options for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ are multiple and take into consideration end points such as local, regional or distant recurrence, overall survival and quality of life. Treatment methods continue to be controversial and debated in the oncology community. The quality of local control is multifactorial and depends on adequate surgical clearance, biological characteristics of the tumor, clinical presentation and the possibility of radiation therapies.