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BACKGROUND: A role for radiotherapy after mastectomy for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is unclear. Using a prospective audit of DCIS detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme we sought to determine a rationale for the use of post mastectomy radiotherapy for DCIS. METHODS: Over a nine year period, from 9972 patients with screen-detected DCIS and complete surgical, pathology, radiotherapy and follow up data, 2944 women underwent mastectomy for DCIS of whom 33 (1.1%) received radiotherapy. RESULTS: Use of post mastectomy radiotherapy was significantly associated with a close (<1 mm) pathology margin (χ(2)(1) 95.81; p < 0.00001), DCIS size (χ(2) (3) 16.96; p < 0.001) and the presence of microinvasion (χ(2)(1) 3.92; p < 0.05). At a median follow up 61 months, no woman who received radiotherapy had an ipsilateral further event, and only 1/33 women (3.0%) had a contralateral event. Of the women known not to have had radiotherapy post mastectomy, 45/2894 (1.6%) had an ipsilateral further event and 83 (2.9%) had a contralateral event. CONCLUSION: Recurrence following mastectomy for DCIS is rare. A close (<1 mm) margin, large tumour size and microinvasion, may merit radiotherapy to reduce ipsilateral recurrence.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Surg Oncol

Publication Date





1406 - 1410


Breast cancer, DCIS, Mastectomy, Radiotherapy, Sloane project, Aged, Breast Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating, Cohort Studies, Disease-Free Survival, Early Detection of Cancer, Female, Humans, Mastectomy, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Neoplasm, Residual, Prospective Studies, Radiotherapy, Adjuvant