I was so happy to see a study come out about a very common—and often controversial—form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS for short. Let me tell you why.
As I’ve explained here before, DCIS is the presence of abnormal cells inside of a breast’s milk duct. In other words, it’s the earliest, most benign form of breast cancer out there…and being “in situ,” it isn’t invasive at all.
So it probably won’t surprise you to hear that, back when I was in medical school, we essentially ignored DCIS. The general rule of thumb was to leave it be and monitor for changes.
Fast forward a few decades and now, DCIS treatment has taken on an epic life of its own, with doctors employing strategies so aggressive—think double mastectomy, chemo, and hormone therapy—that they remind me of how we used to mutilate men with prostate cancer before common sense took over.
And why are docs getting so carried away? Because despite the fact that statistics dictate the most conservative approach, we simply don’t know which unlucky few patients might go on to develop invasive breast cancer.
So they all get the same hysterical treatment, for better or worse. Which brings me back to why I’m so happy about this latest study on the subject…
Six significant prognostic factors
According to a new analysis, there are six factors that may predict whether or not DCIS will go on to become invasive breast cancer. Which means that doctors and patients are no longer shooting in the dark with their treatment decisions.
Researchers reviewed 17 studies. And out of 26 different prognostic factors, six emerged as statistically significant. Invasive breast cancer risk was higher if…
- a woman was African American (by 43 percent)
- a woman was premenopausal (by 59 percent)
- the tumor was detectable by palpation (by 84 percent)
- there were margins involved (by 63 percent)
- the tumor grade was high (by 36 percent)
- expression of p16, a tumor suppressor protein, was high (by 51 percent)
These study results may still require confirmation. But I, for one, hope that they mark a return to sanity where DCIS treatment is concerned. Because women with otherwise low-risk DCIS deserve a whole lot better than what they’re currently receiving.
Always look for logical alternatives
Let me repeat: DCIS, left untreated, is not destined to become an invasive disease. It’s not life-threatening upon diagnosis, and it may never be.
But without any reliable prognostic factors to go by, doctors decided that the only reasonable reaction is to panic. Which leaves us with what? A whole bunch of overtreated, tortured women who are unnecessarily scared for their lives.
While this is great for hospitals, Big Pharma, and pretty much every other profit-hungry corner of the medical establishment, it’s a nightmare for women who have to live with the fallout.
But of course, we all know who’s calling the shots here. And with all of the money that this radical approach to treatment generates, it’s no wonder that advances in detection and screening have been practically non-existent in the breast cancer field.
I am relieved, however, that someone is finally trying to put an end to this madness. In the form of an ongoing study called PRECISION (PREvent ductal Carcinoma In Situ Invasive Overtreatment Now), funded by Cancer Research U.K. and the Dutch Cancer Society. (Did you honestly think the U.S. would be involved in such a thing?)
In the meantime, there’s a tool that’s available right now, here in the U.S.—though it’s not especially common and can be difficult to access. It’s called the Oncotype DX Breast DCIS score. It’s one of the first assays to look at molecular expression in cases of DCIS. And I can only hope that it starts getting more use.
Here’s the bottom line—and something that I have learned through years of treating amazingly dedicated patients. There are logical alternatives out there to many of the so-called “solutions” that conventional medicine offers. But the sad truth is that you’re going to have to find most of them on your own.
That is, of course, with my help. I’m a firm believer in getting all of the testing you need to embark on your journey. And there are many, many paths you can choose to address your diagnosis.
Modern American medicine doesn’t want you to know about these alternatives. But I do—so I’ll keep sharing them, every chance I get.
That’s exactly why I created my Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future. This unique learning tool is packed with simple, science-based strategies to fortify your cellular defenses—and stop cancer in its tracks. Click here to learn more or to sign up today.
“Six Factors Tied to DCIS Returning as Breast Cancer.” Medscape Medical News, 04/25/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/912225)