Published on August 31, 2015

Allays Concerns About D.C.I.S. Breast Cancer

by Jeanne Muchnick

A recent article in the New York Times, quoting JAMA Oncology, raises doubts over the value of surgery for early-stage breast lesions.

The article reported that 60,000 American women with early stage breast cancer, known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., have opted for surgery, either a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

But in some cases, that treatment may make no difference in their outcomes.

The article, according to Helen Pass, MD, director of breast surgery and co-director, Women's Breast Center at Stamford Hospital, was a bit alarmist and could have women thinking they underwent surgery for no reason at all.

What didn't come across in the article, she said, is that not all D.C.I.S. conditions are is the same and need to be treated on an individual basis.

"The New York Times is not a medical journal and I’m sure there wasn't space to explain everything," she said.

In reality, she explained that "there is a subset of women that will do well with minimal treatment and another subset that would be better off adhering to traditional treatment."

It's all about a team approach as well as individual preferences.

Get more of an in-depth explanation from her on Stamford Hospital’s blog post.

You can read the interview on the Stamford Daily Voice.

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