Rethinking Breast Cancer

A basic definition of cancer is abnormal cells growing out of control invading tissue and disrupting normal cell function. Using this definition Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) or what is called Stage 0 breast cancer is not truly a cancer. DCIS has been thought of as a pre-cancer - a collection of abnormal cell within a breast duct which had not invaded local tissue.The treatment for DCIS has involved surgery and/or radiation to prevent the local invasion of tissue.

A recent study involved the review of data from 108,196 women in the U.S. from 1988 to 2011 who were diagnosed with DCIS. Their average age was 53 yr old. And their clinical course was followed for an average of 7.5 years.

The results suggested that those women with DCIS who were treated with surgery and/or radiation had less local invasion. However this did not lower their mortality rate from breast cancer. Additionally black women diagnosed with DCIS irrespective of income or treatment and women younger than 35 yr diagnosed with DCIS had higher breast cancer mortality rates. This study raises interesting More study is needed.

Author
Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD

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