Are you looking for support and alternative options?
Do you feel like you are going insane dealing with the maze of doctor visits, confusion, overwhelm and scary statistics?
Are you interested in learning more about holistic healing strategies and ways to reduce risk of DCIS recurrence or progression?
If yes, DCIS 411 was created for you.
My name is Donna Pinto. I was diagnosed with DCIS on January 19th, 2010. Since day one, I have been researching the topic of DCIS day and night — looking for expert insights, science-based studies, resources and support for a less aggressive approach to DCIS.
I created this website out of my own disbelief and frustration with the medical system and a relentless search for emotional support around holistic alternatives which I did not find. It also evolved out of my deepest gratitude for the angels and information that simply appeared along my journey as I followed my intuition. DCIS 411 has given me a space to pay-it-forward and I am humbled and grateful to continue to do research and provide valuable information to help women world-wide make informed and enlightened decisions. If you’d like to hear how this all started, please scroll down and read my very first blog post from December 2011 called Why DCIS 411?
I make no money from DCIS 411.
I created this website as a labor of love. My greatest reward has come from comments such as: “I am in total peace as I have found you. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to you, Donna and all your supporters on DCIS411.com.”
If you find DCIS 411 helpful, I’d love to hear from you.
I am fueled and inspired by all the like-minded women who have taken the time to share stories, comments and feedback.
If you feel inspired to help others and expand the impact we can have together please consider making a donation here.
In addition to working as a patient advocate for women diagnosed with DCIS, I recently founded give wellness — a nonprofit initiative which provides wellness workshops and scholarships to under-served groups or people facing cancer and other serious life or health challenges.
Other ways to stay connected and supported:
“Follow” DCIS 411 (on right side of this page)
“Like” DCIS 411 Facebook page
Join Donna’s Choice: Global Healing From the Inside Out (Facebook Group)
Over the last several years, I have shared my experiences, insights, recipes and resources through my Blog. You can check out “Top Posts and Pages” on the right sidebar or click on blog above and scroll backwards. This is 6 years worth of insights that follows where my long “Donna’s Journey” post leaves off! Take some time to read through my blog posts and think of it as a free book!
In 2012, I partnered with Sandie Walters, founder of “DCIS Without Rads” to create DCIS Redefined: Dilemmas, Choices & Integrative Solutions. Together we worked for over a year to compile valuable resources, studies, stories and articles — all researched and written by Sandie and me. You can join our Pro-active Breast Health Club for free and receive periodic articles via email. Fascinated with “food as medicine,” in 2013, I became a Certified Nutritionist. I share my holistic healing plan freely.
So much has changed for the better since I began researching this topic in 2010.
New studies have confirmed widespread overdiagnosis and overtreatment of DCIS.
In 2015, I was thrilled to be interviewed by TIME Magazine, KPBS/NPR and the San Diego Union Tribune. Please click on the media page (in above menu) to see all the great news stories regarding DCIS overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
See below to read Why DCIS 411? and read how this site began…my very 1st post in December 2011
Why DCIS 411?
My heart sank, my head spun and my gut knew… The “standard of care” treatment options offered to me following a diagnosis of DCIS didn’t feel right. My intuition led me on a highly motivated journey of investigation.
With all the breast cancer awareness, pink campaigns and races for the cure, why had I never heard of DCIS? And, after being diagnosed, why had no one else that I told ever heard of it!
What I have since learned is that although DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) is considered “stage zero” breast cancer, it is still counted in the breast cancer statistics and accounts for 1/4 of all breast cancers diagnosed today. According to the American Cancer Society, about 60,000 cases of DCIS are diagnosed in the United States each year, accounting for about 1 out of every 5 new breast cancer cases.
Because there is so much uncertainty around whether or not DCIS will progress to invasive cancer, treatments are extremely aggressive (as if one has invasive cancer) and there is little support for those who choose a less invasive natural healing/active surveillance approach.
This site is an on-going compilation of research which continues to enlighten my journey. What I have learned brings me peace of mind, a healthy body and a joyful spirit. I hope it can do the same for women world-wide diagnosed with DCIS and their loved ones. I am grateful beyond words to the scientists, doctors and true health advocates who provide new research, resources and insights regarding DCIS. I feel compelled to share this wealth of information with women everywhere.
Above all, DCIS 411 provides women with the latest information from credible breast cancer experts regarding DCIS — information that their doctor may not know, may not believe or may not tell them — information that is not readily available on breast cancer websites or on message boards. In order to make a truly informed decision, the information found on the Resources page is vitally important. Below are excerpts from one of the articles that has made a huge difference in my treatment choices.
Dr. Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, professor of surgery and radiology at UCSF and Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UCSF states:
- “Minimal-risk lesions should not be called cancer.”
- “With DCIS, the bulk of what we find is not high grade.”
- “Only high-grade DCIS is likely to progress to invasive breast cancer.”
- “If it doesn’t look like high-grade DCIS, we should leave it alone. We would eliminate two thirds of all biopsies if we did.”
- “Currently there are sufficient data to stop and rethink the entire approach to DCIS.”
- “Less than 5% of DCIS turns out to be something else, including invasive cancer.”
- “There are now 60,000 new cases a year of DCIS in the United States. But we haven’t seen any drop in invasive cancers, despite treatment of DCIS as if it were early cancer.”
- “The burgeoning problem of DCIS is a result of mammography screening. In the days before widespread mammography, DCIS was rare. In the United States, DCIS incidence has risen from 1.87 per 100,000 in 1973 to 1975 to 32.5 in 2004, according to a recent report published online January 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.”
- “Is the purpose of mammography screening to look for DCIS? No”
- “Maybe we shouldn’t try so hard to find it — particularly low- and intermediate-grade DCIS. We need to take them out of the screening agenda.
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I look forward to connecting with you and sharing insights. ~ Donna