The media madness began in August 2015 following the publication of the most extensive study to date on DCIS in the prestigious medical Journal JAMA Oncology. The study of over 100,000 women concluded there was no “life-saving” benefit to “standard protocol” for DCIS (surgery, radiation and drugs). “The analysis reinforces a growing belief that current treatment regimens for this condition are overly aggressive or outright unnecessary.”
Donna in the news:
KPBS Radio & TV, August 24, 2015, Study Prompts San Diego Doctors, Patients To Question Breast Cancer Treatment Strategy TOP STORY on Midday Edition — a LIVE 16 minute radio interview and 5 minute TV segment featuring Donna along with an oncologist from Sharp Hospital in San Diego.
TIME Magazine, October 1, 2015: Why Doctors Are Rethinking Breast-Cancer Treatment Donna was interviewed via phone for 45 minutes for this article. She discussed how she was “blindsided” when given the diagnosis, yet she knew intuitively the standard aggressive DCIS protocol was not right. Sadly, this article focuses on “doing nothing” and does not mention being pro-active with regards to a holistic approach to diet and lifestyle as Donna emphasized was so important for herself as well as all women choosing “active surveillance.”
San Diego Union Tribune, Study challenges status quo in breast cancer treatment Donna’s story is featured in this FRONT PAGE article.
More major news stories and headlines:
ABC’s Good Morning America, August 21, 2015:
‘Stage Zero’ Breast Cancer: New Study Casts Doubt on Early Intervention
CBS News TV segment, November 3, 2015 The debate over early breast cancer treatment
New York Times, August 20, 2015: Doubt Is Raised Over Value of Surgery for Breast Lesion at Earliest Stage
New York Times, September, 28, 2015: A Breast Cancer Surgeon Who Keeps Challenging the Status Quo
JAMA Oncology, Editorial, October 2015: Rethinking the Standard for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Treatment
Health News Review, DCIS dilemma: Dr. Laura Esserman podcast
Prevention Magazine, Nov 5, 2015: Annual Mammograms Won’t Lower Your Risk Of Dying From Breast Cancer. Here’s What Will.
Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2015: We should look less hard for cancer
Elle Magazine, June 8, 2015: THE DANGER OF DCIS, THE BREAST “CANCER” THAT’S OFTEN NOT
CNN, February 4, 2015: Time to change how we think about cancer
As promised, I’m following up with you and everyone here on the DCIS forum as to my current situation. To recap a bit – I’ve been following a grouping of microcalcs since 2011, refusing biopsy because of my concerns of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. I’ve had a BIRAD4 rating every time. I’ve done the mammograms every six months or so. Now to the amazing part of all this. I just had my latest follow-up, approxmately 7 months after the last one. And guess what? The report came back BIRAD2, benign, no sign of suspicious cluster of microcalcs.
As you might imagine, I was flabbergasted. I was overjoyed that maybe a radiologist who had a different take on this situation was going to finally declare that after almost 5 years of me following this and no change in the microcalcs that it was a benign finding. I went into my doctor and he said he “didn’t understand the report at all”. He got on the phone immediately to the radiology clinic and asked for an addendum. I told him that never in my wildest imagination would I think this was a “mistake”, but most radiologists are OVERLY careful and almost paranoid about reading these films properly or within the standards.
I just now got a call from my doctor informing me that the report apparently was wrong and it is still a BIRAD4. I asked if there’d been any change in the calcs since the other film and he said, no, it was the same. So at least it remains unchanged and “stable”. I told him I refused to continue doing 6 month, 6 month, on and on mammograms due to the radiation exposure and that I would do a yearly, if there had been no change. He made no comment to that, and has never been supportive of my stance on this. He also said I would be within my rights to go down to the radiology clinic and complain to the manager.
I do intend to write a letter to them, with cc to my doctor and ask how or why this apparent “mistake” happened, with my calcs being downgarded from BIRAD4 to BIRAD2. It has occurred to me that maybe this radiologist DID think it was benign, and someone put the hammer on him to change it. I won’t ever know the truth of this matter, I’m sure. I’m so upset and so taken aback, to have gone from thinking I was off this nightmarish treadmill, but now I’m right back on it again. So, that’s the latest. Would love to hear if anyone else has had this type of thing happen to them, or just what they think is going on here? Thanks again for all you do to support us out here who are going through this journey and standing against being overdiagnosed, overtreated, invaded, cut up, or medicated unnecessarily for microcalcs, esp, calcs like mine which are a small grouping that haven’t changed in going on 5 years!
I would love to hear from anyone who’s surgeon recommended mastectomy (either because of n overly large tumor or evidence of DCIS Grade 3) but who then went to see Dr. Hwang at Duke or Dr. Esserman or Melvin Silverstein in California, or any other progressive-thinking breast surgeon, who suggested and performed a successful lumpectomy. Thank you.