My biopsy showed DCIS. I'm somewhat relieved because I thought that was a Stage 0 cancer. If DCIS is stage 0 cancer, why are so many women having mastectomies with microcalcifications and DCIS? Is it all preventative and perhaps a bit premature? I have a lumpectomy scheduled and so scared that I'm jumping into something and would be better off if I did nothing. Is anyone out there who has heard of someone with DCIS and microcalcifications and did nothing?
First of all, each case is different and treatment is recommended accordingly (mastectomy, lumpectomy). To have a diagnosis of cancer and doing nothing in my opinion is beyond foolish. DCIS being non-invasive can be simply removed. If left untreated there is a chance of it advancing to an invasive type. Why would anyone ever consider having nothing done after being diagnosed; a decision beyond anything I could ever imagine.
Stage 0 cancer is still cancer. I'm waiting on my results and suspect a similar diagnosis to yours. The research I've done indicates that if you opt for lumpectomy and radiation the reoccurance of either DCIS or invasive cancer is higher than if you opt for a mastectomy. The thinking being, that the radiation will kill any remaining cells in the breast tissue, but if you just remove the breast tissue there's no risk.
In my opinion I don't believe mastectomy is overkill, but certainly preventative. There's a lot of writing out htere saying that women are overreacting to early stage cancer by removing their entire breast. However, given the options, I can do without a "boob", but I like my life and am not cavalier about risking it to "see" if I might get more later.
I've known women who have exercised both options. I even have a friend who had chemo even though she wasn't "required" to. It's a very individual choice. Read and talk to your doctor and explore your options.
You have to be happy with the decision in the end. Just please, don't opt to leave the DCIS in place, go ahead and at least have the lumpectomy, that is not premature, it's Cancer, not invasive, but cancer non the less.
Good luck with your procedure, I hope it goes smoothly for you!
I was diagnosed with DCIS 5 years ago and wasn't given a decision about lumpectomy or not, so I didn't consider not having one. They were doing a study on not having radiation at that time and asked if I wanted to be in the study. I have a strong family history of breast cancer on my mother's side, three aunts, so I opted to have the radiation.
Like the others have recommended I would definitely get the lumpectomy, because it is cancer in the ducts and it could break free, the other options are up to you and your doctor.
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