My 58 year old sister had a lump removed from her breast a few years ago. The biopsy revealed pre-cancerous cells. She was given a series of daily radiation treatments for a number of weeks, possibly 3 or 4. She has since taken on the role of breast cancer survivor. This disturbs me on a number of levels. I think it is insulting to those women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, not pre-cancerous cell. As the years have gone by, my sister has gone from saying she did not have cancer but is at risk, to being one step from having first stage breast cancer to finally announcing at a family gathering that she had breast cancer! My question is this: Is a woman who has had a lump removed from her breast and submitted to radiation as a result of finding a pre-cancerous cell a breast cancer survivor or am I feeling unneccessarily alarmed. Either she had breast cancer or she did not and if not, she is not dealing with reality.
I believe that a clarification with the pathologist or the surgeon is in order. I it is atypical hyperplasia or just hyperplasia, then it is not cancer, but it can be considered as pre-cancer (however, radiation treatment for this is questionable). If it is Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) or Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS) then it is already cancer but not yet an INVASIVE cancer. These two, DCIS or LCIS maybe treated with radiation. So I suggest you clarify these with her doctors. I agree that it's either you have cancer, or you don't.
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