“Despite all the women being diagnosed with early-stage cancer and being treated aggressively to keep their DCIS from spreading, the rate of invasive cancer hasn’t gone down; it’s gone up 25 percent,” says Dr. Laura Esserman.
More than a million US women may have received unnecessary and invasive cancer treatments over the last 30 years, thanks to routine mammograms. Thousands of women with a DCIS diagnosis face life-altering decisions. Hysteria around breast cancer is a big part of the problem.
The purpose of this site is to provide up-to-date research, personal stories and valuable resources that offer support, treatment options and peace of mind for women diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ). The intention is for it to be interactive – where anyone affected by a DCIS diagnosis can comment on posts and share openly about their experiences, questions, concerns and triumphs.
It is estimated that 60,000+ women annually are diagnosed with DCIS which is considered “stage zero” breast cancer. It is a highly confusing diagnosis. Although it is NOT invasive cancer and most low grade DCIS will never progress, “standard of care” treatments are alarmingly aggressive and invasive. The majority of women, driven by an overwhelming sense of fear and confusion, rush into lumpectomies, mastectomies, weeks of daily radiation, toxifying drugs with harsh side effects along with a future filled with excessive mammograms and biopsies. Even within the medical community, there is great controversy and debate around “over treatment” of DCIS. We are told 50% believe it is a precursor to cancer and 50% believe it will never progress. It has been called “stage zero” breast cancer, pre-cancer, pre-invasive breast cancer and non-invasive breast cancer. There is now a movement among breast cancer/DCIS experts to take the word “carcinoma” out of the diagnosis to undo the current hysteria around DCIS and women seeking prophylactic mastectomies. With all the controversy, it is no wonder women and their families feel confused, overwhelmed, scared, uncertain and pressured. Upon investigation of DCIS, the information overload can send one spinning.
This site is simply to make life after a DCIS diagnosis easier.
Since January 2010, I have been digging for information in an effort to gain understanding and gather support for a healthier, saner way to live with a DCIS diagnosis. Above all, my intuition remains my best guide and resource.
We all have a choice. We do not need to buy into the fear and hysteria around DCIS. Understanding, not ignorance, is bliss. No matter what anyone says (even medical experts), you and only you will know what is the right path for you.
May you find useful information, support, options and sanity here.
Donna Pinto is the Founder of DCIS 411 and Co-Founder of DCIS Redefined. Donna is a passionate Patient Advocate, Certified Nutritionist, Author, Speaker and Founder of Give Wellness, a nonprofit organization which brings wellness workshops to under-served groups and grants wellness wishes to individuals facing cancer or other life/health challenges.
“Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.”