Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Biology, Language, and Active Surveillance: A Survey of Breast Radiologists’ Knowledge and Opinions

Lars J. Grimm, Stamatia V. Destounis, Habib Rahbar, Mary Scott Soo, Steven P. Poplack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To understand how breast radiologists perceive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Materials and Methods: A 19-item survey was developed by the Society of Breast Imaging Patient Care and Delivery Committee and distributed to all Society of Breast Imaging members. The survey queried respondents’ demographics, knowledge of DCIS biology, language used to discuss a new diagnosis of DCIS, and perspectives on active surveillance for DCIS. Five-point Likert scales (1 = strongly disagree, 3 = neutral, 5 = strongly agree) were used. Results: There were 536 responses for a response rate of 41%. There was agreement that DCIS is the primary driver of overdiagnosis in breast cancer screening (median 4), and respondents provided mean and median overdiagnosis estimates of 29.7% and 25% for low-grade DCIS as well as 4.2% and 0% for high-grade DCIS, respectively. Responses varied in how to describe DCIS but most often used the word “cancer” with a qualifier such as “early” (32%) or “pre-invasive” (25%). Respondents disagreed (median 2) with removing the word “carcinoma” from DCIS. Finally, there was agreement that current standard of care therapy for some forms of DCIS is overtreatment (median 4) and that active surveillance as an alternative management strategy should be studied (mean 4), but felt that ultrasound (median 4) and MRI (median 4) should be used to exclude women with occult invasive disease before active surveillance. Conclusions: Breast radiologists’ opinions about DCIS biology, language, and active surveillance are not homogenous, but general trends exist that can be used to guide research, education, and advocacy efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1258
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Active surveillance
  • DCIS
  • breast imaging
  • overdiagnosis
  • overtreatment
  • survey


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