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Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS) is not cancer. It is Breast Cancer Stage 0. What are Your Treatment Options?
Dear Cancer Coach-
I was told I may need radiation treatment for my 0 stage breast cancer. I had some of the infected breast tissues removed. Is radiation my only option?
Several things for you to consider. For the sake of my reply I will assume that “0 stage breast cancer” means ductal carcinoma in-situ or DCIS.
Each possible therapy will carry with it both risks and rewards for you. I have listed those therapies and articles that discuss possible risks and rewards in an effort to provide you with the information you may need to help you in your decision-making.
1) Lumpectomy- it concerns me a bit when you say “I had SOME of the infected breast tissues removed.” Clear margins are important in reducing the risk of relapse.
2) Local Radiation– the article linked below clearly establishes a reduced risk of relapse for those DCIS patients who surgically remove the dcis AND have a short course of local radiation.
3) Oncotype DX– this is a new test with limited track record. Please read up on this test to determine if it might help your decision-making. Find out if your insurance covers it…
4) Non-toxic therapies to reduce your risk of relapse- see the third link below- I urge you to consider these therapies regardless if you undergo radiation therapy or not- cheap and effective.
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: