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According to a new study, women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who are age 44 or younger have almost double the risk of recurrence (return of cancer after treatment) after lumpectomy (also called breast-conserving surgery) and radiation therapy than women age 45 and older. DCIS is a precancer that can later develop into an invasive type of breast cancer.
What this means for patients
This study suggests that more aggressive treatment should be studied in this group of women to help lower recurrence. Lead author Iwa Kong, MD, adds that “we don't yet know why younger women with DCIS have a higher rate of recurrence, and more research is needed to determine the reasons for this difference and to determine the best treatment for younger women with DCIS.” Dr. Kong is a breast oncology research fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto. Women diagnosed with DCIS should talk with their doctor about the best treatment option.
What to Ask Your Doctor
- What type of breast cancer do I have? What does this mean?
- What are the available treatment options?
- What are the risks and benefits of each treatment option?
- How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
- What can be done to help lower the risk of recurrence?
- After my treatment has ended, what will my follow-up care plan be?