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DCIS- Risk of Future Breast Cancer in Either Breast

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“(11.9%) of women developed ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence and 127 (4.6%) developed contralateral breast cancer as their first breast event.”

You have been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in-situ. On the one hand you know that DCIS is not breast cancer but on the other hand, you don’t want DCIS to develop into breast cancer. What do you do???

Several issues to consider. First, according to the study linked and excerpted below, the chances of getting BC in the same breast as your DCIS is  11.9% after 10 years. The chances that you will get breast cancer in the opposite breast is 4.6%.

But what if those risks are still too high for you? Yes, tamoxifen will reduce your risk of BC relapse further. And yes, whole breast radiation will lower your risk of BC relapse even further. Both of these therapies reduce your risk by a small percentage.

Unfortunately, both therapies can result in short, long-term and late-stage side effects. The collateral damage from these therapies is well-documented. Please ask your oncologist.

Most importantly, though the study linked and excerpted below cites a dizzying array of statistics related to 5 years, 10 years, contr, ipsa, etc. it does not say anything about the most important statistic of all. The effect of radiation has on overall survival. According to many studies, radiation does not improve overall survival for DCIS patients. Though the collateral damage caused by radiation can cause short, long-term and late-stage side effects it does not add to a woman’s OS.

There are a number of evidence-based, non-toxic therapies shown to reduce your risk of breast cancer- nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, detoxification, etc. all have been shown by research to reduce the risks of BC.

To learn more about DCIS and the evidence-based therapies that can help you prevent its spread into invasive breast cancer, please watch the video below:

To download the DCIS Guide, click here.
I should know. I am a long-term survivor of a completely different cancer called multiple myeloma. MM is considered to be incurable by conventional oncology. I was first diagnosed with MM in early ’94 and reached complete remission in 4/99. I live an evidence-based, anti-MM lifestyle through nutrition, supplementation, etc.

For more information about evidence-based, non-toxic therapies to reduce your risk of BC, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Contralateral Breast Cancer 

Relating to the opposite side, as when pain is perceived or paralysis occurs on the side opposite to that of the lesion.

Ipsilateral Breast Cancer

“On the same side, as opposed to contralateral…”

Recommended Reading:

Contralateral breast cancer uncommon among women with ductal carcinoma in situ

“Fewer than 6% of women with ductal carcinoma in situ developed contralateral breast cancer within 10 years, according to study results presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting…

Contralateral breast cancer incidence did not appear associated with age, family history or characteristics of initial ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), nor did it appear associated with factors that increase ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence…

Therefore, Miller and colleagues conducted their study to quantify the rate of contralateral breast cancer among women with DCIS who underwent breast-conserving surgery; compare risk for contralateral breast cancer with that of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence; identify factors associated with contralateral breast cancer risk; and evaluate whether those risk factors were the same as those for ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence…

During follow-up, 328 (11.9%) of women developed ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence and 127 (4.6%) developed contralateral breast cancer as their first breast event.

Researchers reported a higher cumulative incidence of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence than contralateral breast cancer at 5 years (7.8% vs. 2.8%) and 10 years (14.3% vs. 5.6%)

“For a woman undergoing breast-conserving surgery for DCIS, the 10-year ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence rate is 2.5-fold higher than the contralateral breast cancer rate,” Miller and colleagues wrote. “For a woman not receiving radiation therapy, the ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence rate is 4-fold higher than the contralateral breast cancer rate. Identification of factors associated with higher ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence risk may be important in decision-making between breast-conserving surgery and unilateral mastectomy, but should not prompt contralateral prophylactic mastectomy for DCIS.””



Leave a Comment:

maria c larsen says 5 years ago

Hej David,
I had DCIS in left breast for 2 years ago; a mastectomy, 6 chemotherapi and 5 weeks daily radiation; the tumor was 2 cm, 2 lymphs out of 14 were with cancer; I was told that the cancer is aggresive, and when it comes back is i bone..I had to had 5 years with Letrozol, I quit after 1 year becouse of muscular pain etc and I refused Tamoxifen,
I m eating organic no animal proteins, juisec etc, I am in fitness center 2-3 / a week, and taking mushrooms in pulver..I am open for any advice as I believe in your experience.
looking forward to hear from you
Best regards

    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    Hi Kiki-

    Several things. First of all, I am sorry to read of your DCIS diagnosis. But you appear to be working at your health so congrats. Secondly, I will email a list of evidence-based, non-toxic therapies to reduce your risk of BC to your email address. Separately, regarding your comment “, and when it comes back is in bone..” I will include in your email a study about the importance of bisphophonate therapy in BC patients BEFORE BC mets to the bones.

    You will understand when you read the study. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Hang in there,

    David Emerson

Vickie says 5 years ago

Thank you for your reply. I am going through the links in the PDF you sent and it is really great information. I have seen so many health care providers in the last three months but none of them mentioned specific benefits of certain foods or supplements. There just doesn’t seem to be a way for me to know if I made the right decision about my treatment by doing the lumpectomy and tamoxifen but foregoing radiation.

    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    Hi Vicki-

    Conventional medical professionals don’t talk about non-conventional therapies like diet and or supplements. For many reasons. I am not a professional and I can’t tell people what to do I just tell people what I do and show them the studies. Your challenge re your own decision-making about your DCIS is that conventional oncology must promote FDA approved therapies such as lumpectomy, whole breast radiation and aromatase inhiitor (tamoxifen).

    I believe patients like us live better, longer if we combine conventional and non-conventional therapies.

    thanks and keep me post on your progress if you think of it.

    David Emerson

Vickie says 5 years ago

I was diagnosed with DCIS Breast Cancer Stage 0/1 low nuclear grade on March 2, 2017. (I’m calling it stage 0/1 because the radiation oncologist told me there is nothing lower than 1 but my oncologist called it stage 0.) The DCIS was 3mm. I had a lumpectomy on April 19, 2017 with negative margins. The radiation oncologist was concerned about one margin that was 1.8mm since the standard margin is 2mm. After going over the risks of radiation I have decided not to have radiation therapy but to take Tomaxifen. What can I do to help reduce my cancer risk without radiation?

    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    Hi Vicki-

    I am sorry to read of your DCIS diagnosis. I disagree with your oncologist. DCIS is not stage 1 anything. DCIS is pre-BC. Having said that, yes, studies have shown that three therapies reduce your risk of BC- lumpectomy, radiation and tamoxifen. Rad. and Tam. have side effects.

    The list of evidence-based, non-toxic therapies is extensive. Too much to send using the PBC site. I will send you a PDF using your email rot…

    Please read over the info in the PDF and tell me what you think as a DCIS patient. Good, Bad? Too much, too little? I’m curious.


    David Emerson

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