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DCIS Treatment- Is Radiation My Only Option?

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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?

Hi Alice-
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.
While according to research, local radiation for the DCIS patient (you) will reduce your risk of a future breast cancer diagnosis (slightly), each conventional therapy (local radiation, tamoxifen) 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.

While your oncologist will spend little if any time talking about the benefits of reducing your risk of breast cancer with evidence-based, non-conventional therapies such as exercise, nutrition/diet, supplementation and lifestyle, I encourage you to read the studies linked below.
I am a long-term survivor of a different cancer. I have managed to reduce my risks of my cancer relapsing through the use of evidence-based non-conventional therapies.
I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP. 
David Emerson
  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


 Radiation After Lumpectomy to Remove DCIS Lowers Recurrence Risk

“A study has found that women diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) who were treated with radiation therapy after lumpectomy to remove the DCIS were less likely to have cancer come back (recur) in the same breast compared to women who didn’t have radiation therapy after surgery.

The results were presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS).

DCIS is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer. DCIS usually is treated by surgically removing the cancer — lumpectomy in most cases. After surgery, many women get radiation therapy. Radiation therapy after surgery for DCIS was common in the past, but newer guidelines for treating DCIS say that radiation therapy after surgery doesn’t have to be given routinely to all women. If the DCIS is hormone-receptor-positive (most are), hormonal therapy medicine also may be recommended…”

Dietary Natural Products for Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females worldwide. Several epidemiological studies suggested the inverse correlation between the intake of vegetables and fruits and the incidence of breast cancer.

Substantial experimental studies indicated that many dietary natural products could affect the development and progression of breast cancer, such as soy, pomegranate, mangosteen, citrus fruits, apple, grape, mango, cruciferous vegetables, ginger, garlic, black cumin, edible macro-fungi, and cereals.

Their anti-breast cancer effects involve various mechanisms of action, such as downregulating ER-α expression and activity, inhibiting proliferation, migration, metastasis and angiogenesis of breast tumor cells, inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, and sensitizing breast tumor cells to radiotherapy and chemotherapy…”

Mediterranean Diet and Invasive Breast Cancer Risk Among Women at High Cardiovascular Risk in the PREDIMED TrialA Randomized Clinical Trial

“Conclusions and Relevance  This is the first randomized trial finding an effect of a long-term dietary intervention on breast cancer incidence. Our results suggest a beneficial effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil in the primary prevention of breast cancer. These results come from a secondary analysis of a previous trial and are based on few incident cases and, therefore, need to be confirmed in longer-term and larger studies…”

Red onions pack a cancer-fighting punch, study reveals

“Ontario-grown red onions are the most effective at killing colon and breast cancer cells compared to other types of onions, reports a new study. This is because of the onions’ high levels of quercetin and anthocyanin. As part of this project, the researchers are also the first to develop a non-toxic way to extract quercetin from onions making it more suitable for consumption…”

Prolonged Nightly Fasting Cuts Risk for Breast Cancer Return

“Not eating in the evening and at night could reduce the risk for recurrence of breast cancer, according to a new study published online March 31 in JAMA Oncology.

In a cohort of 2400 women with early-stage breast cancer, researchers found that fasting less than 13 hours per night was associated with a 36% higher risk for disease recurrence as compared with fasting 13 or more hours per night.

A nonsignificant 22% higher risk for mortality from any cause was also observed among patients who fasted for shorter periods in comparison with those who fasted for 13 hours or more overnight.

“Prolonging the overnight fasting interval may be a simple, nonpharmacological strategy for reducing a person’s risk of breast cancer recurrence and even other cancers,” said first author Catherine Marinac

Drink coffee to protect against breast cancer recurrence-

Coffee protects against breast cancer recurrence, detailed findings confirm

“Coffee helps to protect against breast cancer, a number of research studies have shown. A new study is added to that research, confirming that coffee inhibits the growth of tumors and reduces the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with the drug tamoxifen…”

Novel medicinal mushroom blend suppresses growth and invasiveness of human breast cancer cells

“MycoPhyto® Complex (MC), a novel medicinal mushroom blend which consists of a blend of mushroom mycelia from the species Agaricus blazei, Cordyceps sinensis, Coriolus versicolor, Ganoderma lucidum, Grifola frondosa and Polyporus umbellatus, and β-1,3-glucan isolated from the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae…

The potency of MC to inhibit invasiveness of breast cancer cells is linked to the suppression of secretion of the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) from MDA-MB-231 cells.

In conclusion, the MC dietary supplement could have potential therapeutic value in the treatment of invasive human breast cancer…”



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