“The most benign-appearing forms of DCIS (for example, low nuclear grade, small-celled without necrosis, estrogen- and progesterone-receptor positive,c-erbB2 negative, etc.), if untreated, may never cause clinical disease. Less than 50% of low-grade lesions develop into invasive breast cancer over a 25- to 30-year period. This finding goes back to an issue raised earlier as to whether or not DCIS, and in particular, low-grade DCIS, should be classified as breast cancer.” Excerpted from “Ductal Carcinoma In Situ of the Breast: Controversial Issues” by Dr. Melvin J. Silverstein. (http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/3/2/94.full)
Despite the fact that the above article was written in 1998, not much has changed in regards to understanding best treatment for varying levels of DCIS. “Standard of care” is still generally a one size fits all approach — 6 weeks of radiation following lumpectomy or mastectomy for all DCIS patients.
I have done my homework. I have listened to all the sides. I have gotten multiple expert opinions. I understand the statistics and rates of recurrence with and without radiation therapy considering I have a “close margin” of .1mm after 2 recent lumpectomies.
In my opinion and experience, the current “standard of care” treatment that I received with 3 surgeries performed by wire-guided mammograms is ineffective (I had positive or close margins after all 3 surgeries). And I believe cumulative radiation exposure from excessive mammograms is harmful.
I have already had 11 mammograms in 6 years. If I continue having mammograms every 6 months as recommended, by the time I’m 50 I’ll have had 19 mammograms.
Radiologists, oncologists and breast surgeons claim there is little harm from radiation, especially the new digital mammograms. My Naturopathic Dr. told me that radiation can contribute to/cause thyroid disease and thyroid cancer — not to mention all the other possible long-term harm that is underplayed by radiologists, oncologists and breast surgeons. Check out this excerpt on mammograms from Breast Cancer? Breast Health! By Susun S. Weed: http://www.ashtreepublishing.com/Book_Breast_Cancer_Mammograms8.htm
Dr. Oz recently did a show on “The Increase in Thyroid Cancer.” While the incidence of many cancers is declining, thyroid cancer is one that is steadily soaring, especially in women. (http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/increase-thyroid-cancer?page=3#copy)
One of my goals is to advocate for women diagnosed with DCIS or those who are at high risk for breast cancer to be able to have insurance authorize dedicated breast MRIs such as the Aurora RODEO MRI (http://www.auroramri.com/product-rodeo.php) annually combined with ultrasound and thermograms as a way to monitor low-intermediate grade DCIS. My breast surgeon told me, “you may get it authorized once, but insurance will not substitute MRIs for mammograms for annual follow up.”
Amazingly, many oncologists and breast surgeons have never heard of the Aurora RODEO MRI. Through some persistence, I’m happy to report I had my first Aurora Breast MRI at UC Irvine a few days ago. After hearing my case, my primary care physician kindly ordered it and my insurance authorized it.
Dr. Michael Lagios states: any “dedicated” breast MRI is equivalent to the Aurora RODEO MRI.
I am choosing NO RADIATION & NO MORE MAMMOGRAMS! I choose dedicated breast MRIs as an annual monitoring tool. I have also had thermograms and ultrasounds in between. But more importantly I am focused on health-promoting “anti-cancer” foods & supplements, yoga, exercise and keeping toxins and stress away from my body, mind and spirit.
Huge thanks to Sandie Walters for referring me and other women to “dedicated” Breast MRI! Please see: New breast MRI machines may be better at diagnosing early breast cancer: http://www.examiner.com/health-care-in-miami/new-breast-mri-machines-may-be-better-at-diagnosing-early-breast-cancer