Breast Cancer Breakthrough for Better Treatment

Juliet Farmer

Photo by craigfinlay
Finally, research has pinpointed a way for women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), or cancer contained within the duct(s) of the breast, to determine the risk of more invasive tumors down the road.

This means less one-size-fits-all (invasive) treatment. Hooray! And also, it's about time.

I was diagnosed with a handful of breast cancers, including DCIS, in late 2001 and spent the better part of 2002 having multiple surgeries (first a lumpectomy followed soon after by a mastectomy), six months of chemotherapy, and a month and a half of radiation. 

My doctors took a very aggressive approach to my treatment, in part because I was diagnosed with breast cancer young (30), in part because I had a very aggressive form of breast cancer, and in part because I wanted to hit it with the big guns in the hopes of never having to go through it again. I even went so far as to have a preventative mastectomy and my ovaries removed the following year, which was totally my call, but a decision I feel good about nonetheless.

While this most recent research probably wouldn't have changed much about my treatment plan eight years ago, for DCIS-diagnosed women who don't have to have chemotherapy, or for those who really want to keep their breasts, this is very good news.

Have you (or has someone you know) been diagnosed with DCIS?

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