Doctors say treating non-invasive cancer helps odds

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's not new, but a different kind of breast cancer is making the news, because it's being detected more than ever before. Its called Ductal Carcinoma in Situ or DCIS.

"DCIS is a non-invasive form of breast cancer that is still contained in the milk ducts," explained Dr. Arielle Lee, with Tyler Hematology and Oncology.

Lee says it is the only non-invasive type of breast cancer.

"It doesn't have the potential to spread to the lymph nodes or within organs," said Lee.

More than 60,000 American women are diagnosed with it each year. A number that's much higher now because of mammography advancements.

"Often times it's just found with tiny micro calcifications," said Lee. "We find things that are just a few millimeters in size."

It may be small, but doctors say DCIS needs to be treated by removal and radiation. Therapy some say may be too aggressive for such small tumors. But, Dr. Lee says it's not worth risking.

"It is beneficial to treat it so that you don't have the capacity to have it grow and enlarge and then have it take over," said Lee.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation says the best thing to do to catch DCIS or any kind of breast cancer are annual mammograms.

"Early detection is your best prevention because if you catch it early you can treat it," said Jennifer Watkins, the Executive Director for Susan G. Komen in Tyler.

"...that is what we are hear to say, 'Everybody, go do it!'"

They are hoping to stop breast cancer in it's tracks. Dr. Lee said that DCIS tumors are often too small to feel with self breast exams, and a mammogram is the only way to detect it.

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