September 10, 2015 – DCIS Overtreatment


Anchor lead:  is the common type of breast cancer called DCIS overtreated?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

DCIS is an acronym no woman wants to hear.  It stands for ductal carcinoma in situ, and accounts for a significant proportion of cancers detected by mammography.  Now a recent study in JAMA Oncology calls into question whether these cancers are overtreated.  David Euhus, director of breast surgery at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Euhus: I think we overtreat DCIS.  But the problem is we don’t know which ones need treatment and which ones don’t need treatment. When you think about any breast cancer you can kind of lump them into three big groups: there’s a group that’s already metastatic when it’s diagnosed, there’s a group that’s never going to progress to become fatal and might even regress, and there’s a group that has a fair probability of progressing over time, and that’s the group where surgery can interrupt progression and avoid metastases and save lives.   :31

Euhus says figuring out which cancers are dangerous is a top research priority.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.