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The incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a noninvasive form of breast cancer, has increased markedly in recent decades, and DCIS now accounts for approximately 20% of breast cancers diagnosed by mammography. Laboratory and patient data suggest that DCIS is a precursor lesion for invasive cancer. Controversy exists with regard to the optimal management of DCIS patients. In the past, mastectomy was the primary treatment for patients with DCIS, but as with invasive cancer, breast-conserving surgery has become the standard approach. A mini-review of the management of ductal carcinoma in situ is presented, and the roles and dilemmas of surgery, radiotherapy and endocrine therapy are discussed.