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If DCIS isn't cancer, then why would you go through serious life changing surgery?! My doctor believes that because I am only 31 that I should consider a bilateral mastectomy.

tamara carr Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer about 8 years
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  • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2003
    With my reoccurrence in 2008 micro -invasive cells and estrogen so I did take tamoxifen for three years and am now menopausal so was switched to arimidex which I will take for another 5 years Most important message I would like to stress is even with bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction you need to continue to have those mammograms, ultrasounds, scans or MRI . I was fortunate to be followed with mammograms every 3 months for a year then every 6 months for several years that is how my reoccurrence was again caught at an early stage I graduated to yearly mammograms only 2 years ago. A little discomfort is a small price to pay for early detection.
    about 8 years Flag
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Well said, Anne Marie! What has been discovered over the years is aggressive treatment and close follow-up is what saves women's lives. Thanks for your post. Sharon

      about 8 years Flag
  • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2003
    I was first diagnosed with DCIS in 2003 I agree that some do not consider it a cancer my doctor was floored by the medical journals that give this sense that DCIS is nothing. If left untreated it does turn into an invasive cancer mastectomy is the treatment of choice and even with a mastectomy you have a 5% chance of reoccurrence i am one of those 5%. My reoccurrence was again caught early at the incisional line with micro invasive cells so further scraping and deeper mastectomy was done. I did not see an oncologist with my first diagnosis I was referred to a breast specialist. Who felt the surgery was enough. I did not want to take tamoxifen at that time I felt there was a greater risk of endometrial cancer and other side effects since I was only 43. They also we're unable to do hormone testing as the tissue that was removed was too small
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • kelly jesse Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Like others have stated it is cancer. Thank heavens early enough not to be invasive. I had DCIS and had a lumpectomy and radiation. I had a hysterectomy also to cut down the estrogen production. I am 52 and was in peri- menopause. Then I found out I have the BRCA 1 mutation. It has been recommended I have a double mastectomy which I plan to do w reconstruction. You have to be proactive!!
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • Mary Foti Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2010
    DCIS is cancer, but has not become invasive yet (spread outside the milk ducts). It is not a pre-cancer and it is not benign. You will likely not need any chemo but because it is cancer you will need surgery and possibly radiation and adjuvant therapy (a medication like tamoxifen or Arimidex). If you are BRCA (genetic testing would confirm this -ask your surgeon or oncologist if you should consult with a geneticist), the treatment suggested by your surgeon is NOT overly aggressive. That is because if you are carrying a BRCA mutation (as I am- I am BRCA2 and have had the treatment your surgeon recommended) you are at a much higher risk than non-carriers of developing another cancer in the same breast or a separate occurrence in the other breast. Removing both breasts reduces this risk by at least 90%. Best wishes to you - I know this is a very difficult decision to make. Please know that having a double mastectomy and reconstruction is not easy by any means, but the reconstruction options make it psychologically much easier.
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • Dawn Jambor Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I was diagnosed with dcis in the beginning of February and had a mastectomy 2 weeks later. I had more than one area of micro calcifications. Thank God nothing in the breast tissue or the lymph nodes (they took three). It is CANCER and everything that goes with it. Just means it wa
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • Ali S Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    It is cancer, just not as fully developed. Drastic surgery could be suggests because of generic history and /or if you carry BRACA gene
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • Dawn Jambor Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Continuation...was noninvasive and early stages. They can find this so much earlier now days and many women (myself included) do not have to do chemo or radiation. Five years of hormone therapy but can deal with that. As I am cancer free! This is serious and it is cancer. My prayers are with you!!!
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • Erin Timlin Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I just had my surgery (breast conservation) and unfortunately they found stage 0 DCIS in the breast tissue even though the original stage 2 HER2 completely disappeared. The stage 0 is technically benign but has the potential to become invasive cancer, which I had. If you search DCIS you will find that the only suggested remedy is mastectomy. Doctors cannot guarantee it will lie dormant and it won't respond to chemo of radiation. It seems crazy that such a drastic surgery is needed for a seemingly benign occurrence. I'm still coming to terms with myself.
    about 8 years Comment Flag
  • vicki e Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 2B Patient
    Dcis is ductal carcinoma in situ. Is is cancer. If your doc did not give you info on dcis, do a google search and you will see lots of info on it. Good luck to you
    about 8 years Flag
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I agree. DCIS is cancer. It just has not spread outside the milk ducts in your breast. I've had breast cancer twice. The first time, in 2000, the biopsy showed DCIS. I elected to have a mastectomy because I didn't want to deal with it down...

      more

      I agree. DCIS is cancer. It just has not spread outside the milk ducts in your breast. I've had breast cancer twice. The first time, in 2000, the biopsy showed DCIS. I elected to have a mastectomy because I didn't want to deal with it down road.
      After pathology examined my breast, they found invasive ductal carcinoma away from the original tumor. Clearly, I'm very glad I had a mastectomy. Reconstruction is not a piece of cake, but it's not that bad. Best of luck.

      about 8 years Flag
  • Dawn Jambor Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I was diagnosed with dcis in the beginning of February and had a mastectomy 2 weeks later. I had more than one area of micro calcifications. Thank God nothing in the breast tissue or the lymph nodes (they took three). It is CANCER and everything that goes with it. Just means it wa
    about 8 years Comment Flag

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