Adjuvant therapy is not routinely advised for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ. However Tamoxifen has been shown to decrease the risk of secondary breast cancer in women with high risk of breast cancer including women with history of ductal carcinoma in situ. Some physicians routinely recommend treatment with Tamoxifen in all patients who have been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ. In the NSABP trial adjuvant use of Tamoxifen has shown to decrease the breast cancer recurrence risk in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ has been shown to decrease form 13.4% to 8.2% with the use of adjuvant tamoxifen.
Tamoxifen decreases the risk of breast cancer in the involved breast as well as in the contra-lateral breast. Based on these observations, Tamoxifen may be considered as an adjuvant therapy in women with ductal carcinoma in situ. The role of Tamoxifen or other hormonal drugs in the treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ will become clearer over the next few years.
For more information on hormonal therapy of breast cancer please refer to section on hormonal therapy of breast cancer.