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What Does In Situ Mean

by Lyndon Langley
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What Does In Situ Mean

What Does In Situ Mean

In situ is a term that describes a type of cancer that has not spread beyond its point of origin, and it can be used for both primary (in the first occurrence) and secondary cancers (spread from another source). It also refers to a stage when the cancer cells are found only within the milk-producing structures of the mammary gland without spreading outside them. The term “disease” as well as “cancer” may be used interchangeably with “in situ disease.”
In situ carcinoma is divided into two categories based on whether or not the tumor growth extends through the basement membrane and into the stroma. This is referred to as invasive carcinoma, which means the cancerous cells have broken through the basement membrane. Invasive carcinomas are further classified by how deep they’ve penetrated the dermis and subcutaneous tissue layers. They can range from superficial lesions that remain just beneath the skin’s surface to those that extend down several millimeters below the top layer of the skin. The depth at which the lesion penetrates deeply enough to be considered an invasive carcinoma depends upon the size of the tumor and the presence of lymphatic vessels near the area.
Although most in situ cases occur in postmenopausal women, any person may develop this form of cancer. Women who have never had children have the highest risk because of their long periods of estrogen exposure. However, men are affected too, particularly older males. A number of factors increase the likelihood of developing in situ cancer, including exposure to radiation, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of viruses such as hepatitis B and C.
A variety of treatment options exist for patients diagnosed with in situ breast cancer. Treatment decisions should always be made in consultation with your doctor. Patients should understand that there is no cure for in situ breast cancer; however, early detection and diagnosis can lead to successful treatments and good prognosis.
The following topics will help you learn more about in situ breast cancer:
Breast Cancer Overview
Cancer Basics – What Causes Cancer?
Treating Breast Cancer
Causes of In Situ Breast Cancer
Signs of In Situ Breast Cancer
Preventing In Situ Breast Cancer
Types of In Situ Breast Cancer
Diagnosing In Situ Breast Cancer
How Is In Situ Diagnosed?
Treatment Of In Situ Breast Cancer
Prognosis For In Situ Breast Cancer
Risks Associated With In Situ Breast Cancer
Effects of Chemotherapy On In Situ Breast Cancer
Side Effects of Hormone Therapy on In Situ Breast Cancer
Understanding Risk Factors
Genetic Risks of Breast Cancer
Environmental Toxins And Breast Cancer
Metabolic Risks of Breast Cancer
Familial Breast Cancer
Lifestyle and Breast Cancer
Diet And Breast Cancer
Physical Activity And Breast Cancer
Alcohol Consumption And Breast Cancer
Smoking & Lung Cancer
Obesity & Diabetes Mellitus
Depression & Suicide
Menopause & Post-Menopausal Breast Cancer
Mammograms & Breast Cancer
Surgical Removal Of The Mammogram
Radiation therapy & Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy & Breast Cancer
Hormonal replacement therapy & Breast Cancer
BRCA1/2 Mutation & Inherited Breast Cancer
In Situ Cancers Compared To Other Types of Cancers
Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer
How Does Breast Cancer Spread?
How Do You Treat Breast Cancer?
How Can In Situ Be Diagnosed?
How Is In Situ Diagnosed?
What Are The Different Stages of Breast Cancer?
Staging System Used For Breast Cancer
Treatments for Breast Cancer
Treatment Options For Breast Cancer
Surgery For Breast Cancer
Targeted Therapies For Breast Cancer
Biologic Response Modifiers For Breast Cancer
Radioactive Iodine Implants For Breast Cancer
Other Surgical Procedures For Breast Cancer
Medications For Breast Cancer
Hormones For Breast Cancer
Systemic Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer
Combination Chemotherapies For Breast Cancer
Immunotherapy For Breast Cancer
High Dose Cortisone Therapy For Breast Cancer
Light Therapy For Breast Cancer
Hyperthermia Therapy For Breast Cancer
Radiation Therapy For Breast Cancer
Interventional Radiology For Breast Cancer
Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation For Breast Cancer
Brachytherapy Seed Implant For Breast Cancer
Cryoablation For Breast Cancer
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Or Computed Tomography Scanning For Breast Cancer
Ultrasound Guided Needle Aspiration Biopsy For Breast Cancer
Minimally Invasive Surgery For Breast Cancer
Image Guided Core Needle Biopsy For Breast Cancer
Open Biopsy For Breast Cancer
Nuclear Medicine Techniques For Breast Cancer
Digital Mammography For Breast Cancer
Computerized Tomography Scanner For Breast Cancer
PET Scanning For Breast Cancer
Bone Scintigraphy For Breast Cancer
Single Photon Emission Computerized Axial Tomography Scan
Thallium 201 Positron Emission Tomography Scan
Technetium 99m Sodium Pertechnate Bone Marrow Scintigraphy
Widespread Use Of Screening Tests For Breast Cancer
When screening tests detect an abnormal result, additional diagnostic testing is required to determine if cancer exists. If a patient has been screened and tested negative, then the next step is to repeat the test. An alternative approach is to use the results of initial screening tests to decide what kind of follow up testing is appropriate.
Because in situ breast cancer remains confined to the breast ducts, it is possible to remove a portion of the breast and examine it under a microscope to look for malignant changes. This technique, called core needle biopsy, is frequently used to diagnose in situ breast cancer. When a suspicious lump is detected during routine examination, or if a mammographic abnormality is noted, a small incision may be performed so that a hollow needle can be inserted directly into the breast. Once the needle reaches the breast, it is guided to the site where the sample is to be taken. After removal of the mass, the specimen is examined under a microscope to check for malignancy.
If the results indicate the presence of in situ cancer, the entire area surrounding the suspected tumor will be removed surgically. During surgery, the surgeon removes part or all of the breast containing the suspect tumor. Next, the remaining breast is sent to a laboratory for microscopic analysis. If the analysis indicates the presence of cancer, the entire breast will be removed.
For patients who have undergone surgical resection, chemotherapy may be recommended. Radiation therapy may also be prescribed after surgery but before completion of a course of chemotherapy. Patients receiving hormone therapy (tamoxifen citrate) should consult with their physician regarding any decision to undergo mastectomy. There are many methods available to prevent breast cancer. These include avoiding alcohol, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, and family history of breast cancer. Effective prevention strategies often require multiple behavioral interventions over time.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will experience some form of breast cancer during her lifetime. Approximately 40 percent of these cases will be in situ forms of the disease. In situ forms of breast cancer generally go unnoticed until symptoms become apparent. Unfortunately, even though most cases of in situ breast cancer do not cause symptoms, they still must be treated aggressively. Early detection of in situ breast cancer is vital to ensuring a positive outcome.
This information is solely intended to provide educational background information. Nothing contained herein constitutes medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet, supplement or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have any health problems. Never stop doing anything halfway. Discontinuing any programs, supplements, medications, or diets without consulting your healthcare professional can be very dangerous to your health.

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