DCIS & Cryoablation? Guest Blog

My Croablation Journey

Dr. Dennis Holmes & me the day after Cryoablation. I was totally fine. 🙂

by Christine B.

I was diagnosed with DCIS stage 0 grade 2 June 2017. I was immediately turned over to a surgeon who strongly suggested a lumpectomy, radiation, and a hormone blocker. Better yet a mastectomy due to my small breasts.

I had never heard of DCIS until I was diagnosed!

So if I had breast cancer then why wasn’t it called breast cancer? And why was it treated like invasive cancer? I had to investigate my diagnosis.

After investigating all of my options which included second opinions and consulting with two cosmetic surgeons, plus reading all I could find on DCIS, I realized that the aggressive treatment I was presented with just did not make sense to me. I opted to just wait and watch. I was monitored via 3D mammograms every 6 months and used castor oil patches on my breast. My medical team at the time thought I was out of my mind.

For two years my DCIS remained stable. I got married and relocated to Florida. I had become involved with many DCIS Facebook groups and continued staying on top of my DCIS with new Drs. who were also pushing for further treatment. When I went in yet again for my usual 6 month check, I was told my DCIS had grown. It was then I decided that I needed to rethink my options.

One of the ladies within a DCIS Facebook group had posted her experience having cryoablation. I began asking questions. I watched videos on YouTube that actually showed the procedure. Her Dr. — Dr. Dennis Holmes — had done many lectures that were also uploaded to YouTube. He was well respected in the breast cancer community of professionals.

Dr. Holmes was three thousand miles away from me. Long story short, I contacted Dr. Holmes and sent all of my medical records to be evaluated. Lucky for me I was a good candidate for this procedure and my husband and I traveled from Florida to Glendale, California.

Dr. Holmes and his staff were amazing! This was an empowering experience as well as educational and interesting. This procedure makes so much sense! A probe that is inserted directly into the the tumor. The cells are frozen thus killed. A margin is created. There is no cutting and the breast is left perfectly in tact. I was able to watch the cells being frozen and destroyed via ultrasound.

The procedure took about an hour and I was out having dinner and site-seeing that evening. I applied ice later that evening and took two Tylenol. The next day I was a little sore, but I went on with site-seeing, so no down time!

The breast did have some bruising, but I had little pain. I could see the lump from the cryoablation. It has been 6 weeks since my procedure, the lump is getting smaller and will gradually disappear in time.

I will return to Dr. Holmes 6 months post cryoablation for a biopsy, MRI, and ultra sound to confirm it is indeed GONE! The success rate is very high. With cryoablation performed by Dr. Holmes over a 10 year period there have been only 3 re-occurrences.

Hormone blocker may also be suggested if needed and the possibility of radiation depending on individual case and patient willingness.

Cryoablation is currently an off protocol procedure and is not yet covered by insurance. I was informed by Dr. Holmes that hopefully within 5 years, this will be another treatment option for some women and covered by insurance. Doctors do not inform patients with regard to cryoablation if they do not perform it. I feel that is a crime. Women should be informed of all choices!

In my opinion Dr. Holmes is a hero. He saves breasts one woman at a time!

“Not every patient wants to have the most extreme treatment. Some patients want the least invasive procedure…” – Dr. Dennis Holmes

For more information: Dr. Dennis Holmes and Cryoablation

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“It’s a Way of Living” — Donna’s Checklist

deb-hackenberry-1Grateful for the interview today with Deb Hackenberry, facilitator of SHARE’s DCIS online support group

Deb: “If there was one thing you would want women to take away from your DCIS experience and 10+ years of research, what would that be?”

donna-pinto_2016Donna:  “It’s not one thing…

It’s a way of living…

and it’s all included in a Checklist I created…”

checklist updated

Clickable links here: CHECKLIST

Posted in Health, Options, Overdiagnosis & Overtreatment, Personal Stories, Research, Resources, Sanity, Support | Leave a comment

Interview with Donna TODAY!


Deb Hackenberry, SHARE


Donna Pinto, DCIS 411

Women with DCIS can join facilitator Deb Hackenberry, Donna Pinto, and peers via video or phone to discuss “An Alternative DCIS Journey.”

Donna Pinto is the Founder of DCIS 411. In 2010, Donna was diagnosed with intermediate grade DCIS. Based on her research, Donna decided to take a more personalized, holistic-oriented approach to DCIS and cancer risk reduction. Through her blog, DCIS 411, Donna shares a decade of insights, resources, studies, articles, and personal media interviews regarding her journey and viewpoints around the over-diagnosis and over-treatment of DCIS.
Topic-Driven Round Table on Wednesday, May 27th, 3pm PT/ 6pm ET.
Register here to join online and/or by phone: https://buff.ly/2ZwwdBC
Log-in Information
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3412
Access Code: 732-964-061
Please sign on 5-10 minutes early to allow time for log-in.



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The Food Elevator = Love in Action

Covid-19 is especially hard on Venezuelan immigrants — many who have walked to Colombia and are now living on the streets. They are literally starving.

Due to a mandatory curfew, a group of caring Colombians are now offering sandwiches and snacks made with love delivered via a “food elevator” from their apartment balcony.

The technique was borrowed from Jimmy Kimmel.

Food banks like we have in the US are presently nonexistent in Colombia.

Any amount of money is appreciated for supplies to keep The Food Elevator going.


To donate:

VenMo: @CenterForHealthEvolution

If you prefer to send a check or have questions, please email donna@dcis411.com

Subject line: Food Elevator

Muchas gracias!!!  Any amount is truly appreciated!

Translation of sign:

“Good Colombians: Thank you for helping us. We are Venezuelans. We don’t mean any harm. We are just hungry. Thank you for your help.”

The Food Elevator” is led by Adriana’s niece Laura. It is a sister project of Groceries + Love = Global Healing

50% of donations are designated for The Food Elevator and 50% for the women business owners.

Thank you to all who have donated. To date, hundreds of people have been saved from hunger with over $500 in donations.

The Food Elevator and Groceries + Love = Global Healing are humanitarian projects in loving memory of Katy Guard.

“We are made for love and kindness and caring. In our world we belong to one another.” ~ Adriana Del Toro

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Groceries + Love = Global Healing

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” ― Rumi

In 2010, I was diagnosed with DCIS and my friend Adriana helped me in a priceless way. She counseled me away from FEAR and guided me in practical ways towards peace, love, and abundant health.

Over the years, countless people have benefited from Adriana’s love, generosity and wisdom.

Now Adriana is giving us an opportunity to join her in a humanitarian effort focused on supporting women business owners from her hometown in Colombia. These women are the breadwinners in their families and now they have had to shut down their small business overnight due to COVID-19.

One day that these women do not work is a day that they can not feed their family.

Groceries + Love = Global Healing

With the help of Adriana’s family, $1,000 of groceries and personal hygiene items have already been hand-delivered to 30 families in dire need in Colombia.

This effort was was made possible with love and donations made in memory of “Mama Katy” by Adriana and Katy’s son Rustom.

Please watch short video (below) of recipients saying “Gracias.”

Would you please consider joining this humanitarian effort?

$50 will feed and support one family for 2 weeks.

Any amount is truly appreciated.

With your generous donation, 100% of the money goes immediately to purchase and hand-deliver food and essential living supplies to families in need.

The first 20 donors of $50 or more will receive a special gift made by Adriana

Extra potent advanced hand sanitizer

Cash donations appreciated via VenMo: @CenterForHealthEvolution

Please include your mailing address

If you prefer to send a check or have questions, please email donna@dcis411.com Subject line: Groceries + Love 

Any amount is truly appreciated.

Muchas gracias! 

Groceries + Love = Global Healing


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DCIS & COVID-19: How to Decrease Anxiety

Women recently diagnosed with DCIS can do more than just wait.

A test is available NOW to learn if the DCIS cells from a biopsy are “low-risk” or “elevated risk.”

Why wait and do nothing when you can do something to decrease anxiety NOW! 

Below is information posted by PreludeDx, the company that tests YOUR DCIS BIOLOGY:

  1. In recent guidelines for your physicians, DCIS has been categorized as non-urgent or a lower priority for surgery or radiation.
  2. You may have already been told that your treatment has been postponed.
  3. Use this time to gather more information about the biology of your specific DCIS tumor – Not all DCIS is the same
  4. There is a test that lets you know your risk of DCIS returning or developing into invasive breast cancer and your benefit of radiation therapy
  5. Your physician may use the test results to help triage your care today or in the future
  6. This test can be run off your original biopsy, does not require a face to face physician visit and the results are ready in 3-5 business days
  7. Call 800 211 DCIS for more information

Please see my blog post: A New Bio-marker Test for DCIS = Peace of Mind for Thousands of Women

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Nutrition 411: Donna’s Inspiration, Recipes & Links

Rainbow spring rolls w/almond butter  sauce

“Let food be thy medicine

and medicine be thy food.”

– Hippocrates


A Health Warrior is Born

On January 19, 2010, I was diagnosed with DCIS. I was 44 and had two young children.

Hearing the word “carcinoma” was terrifying. Hearing the aggressive treatments was equally terrifying — and nothing made any sense to me.

Despite being heavily pressured by a medical team of oncologists and surgeons, my gut led me to investigate.  I soon felt confident to say NO to aggressive “cancer” treatments.

With the guidance of a nutritionist friend, I focused on learning about “food as medicine.”

I went from being frightened, confused and anxious to feeling calm, empowered and inspired. I became an avid researcher, blogger, Certified Nutritionist and advocate for informed decision-making and pro-active wellness practices.

I created DCIS 411 in 2011 to share my discoveries and resources. I love helping women find peace of mind and optimal health after a DCIS diagnosis.

In 2015, I created Give Wellness to share wellness information and nutritious recipes. Below you will find links to some of my favorite recipes and resources.

Favorite green collard wrap with quinoa, hummus & avo

Recommended Books

Recommended Documentaries

Recommended Nonprofits

MDs and Science-based Resources

Shout out to Deb Hackenberry, facilitator of SHARE’s monthly DCIS Roundtable discussion and support group — thank you for inviting me to co-host “De-mystifying Nutrition” on March 25, 2020.

Deb’s recommended nutrition links:

Join Deb and me on the next online DCIS Roundtable discussion on April 29 at 6pm ET, 3pm PT via “GoToMeeting.” Please register in advance here.








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DCIS Over-Diagnosis & Over-Treatment: New Facebook Group

Patients, researchers, advocates, journalists and organizations need to work together to understand and communicate better about this serious women’s health issue!

Please join a new Facebook Group:

DCIS Over-diagnosis and Over-treatment

A forum for information, discussion, support, research, education, awareness and advocacy focused on DCIS over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

Posted in Health, Options, Overdiagnosis & Overtreatment, Personal Stories, Research, Resources, Sanity, Support | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breast Cancer “Overdiagnosis” Study Seeks Women for Interviews

Fact Sheet: What is Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis?

Our team at the Sydney School of Public Health, Australia, is carrying out a research study to explore women’s awareness of the term ‘overdiagnosis’.

We are interested in talking with women anywhere in the world who:

  • Have been diagnosed with breast cancer, following breast screening
  • Had no breast symptoms at the time of diagnosis
  • Received the diagnosis at least 6 months ago, and were 40+ years at the time
  • Were aware, or later became aware, of the possibility of screen-detected overdiagnosis, and have considered that possibility in relation to their own breast cancer.

If this describes you, and you would consider being interviewed, please read more about the study here: Participant Information Statement and contact us: EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FORM. If you agree to be interviewed, a researcher will interview you during one 30-45 minute interview by telephone or Skype.

Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you have questions about this study, at alexandra.barratt@sydney.edu.au or via phone +61 2 9351 5103. Thank you very much for your time and help.

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The Value of Recording Physician Consultations

Recording consultations with physicians is extremely valuable, especially with regards to obtaining results of screening or diagnostic tests, biopsies, surgeries, or discussions about future cancer risks, or potential treatments.

Recording the consultation enables:

  • ability to glean important information missed or not comprehended due to information overload, shock, language or hearing issues, etc.
  • ability to share with loved ones who may not be able to attend the consultation
  • improvement in patient recall and understanding of condition, risks, treatments

Learn how to use your phone’s “Voice Memo” app and practice

Breast Cancer Decision Services at UCSF is an exemplary program. I experienced first-hand how valuable their services were when I went there for a 2nd opinion with Dr. Laura Esserman in 2012. A PhD student contacted me to discuss my list of questions ahead of my scheduled appointment. She attended the consultation with me, recorded it, and took notes. After the visit, she sent me a summary of her notes and the recording of the visit.

I have listened back to recordings of several physician consultations and found myself hearing and learning new things that I may have missed at the time of the appointment. I did have one physician (a medical oncologist) who was not agreeable to recording the consultation. I wondered why and did not continue to see this physician.

In 2015, I listened back to a recording from my phone consultation with expert pathologist Dr. Michael Lagios who I consulted with for a 2nd pathology opinion in 2011. I thought it was an amazing amount of information that could really help women if they could listen to my questions and his answers. He kindly granted permission for me to share the 43 minute recording on DCIS 411:

Can patients record doctor’s visits? What does the law say?

“Health care overall is moving toward greater transparency and patient recordings are going to become more common. That means there would be tremendous benefit to patient advocacy groups, health care organizations, providers and policymakers working together to develop clear guidelines and policies around the responsible, positive use of open recordings.”

Secretly Recording Your Doctor’s Appointments: Secret recording is increasingly common and many times legal

“39 of 50 states as well as the District of Columbia are single-party jurisdictions—where only one party needs to consent. In other words, in these jurisdictions, if somebody wants to record another person—including a clinical encounter—it’s legal.

There are 11 all-party-jurisdiction states in which both the clinician and patient must both consent to recording a conversation: California, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. In these states, it’s a felony for a patient to record a physician without permission.

In single-party jurisdictions—or most of the United States—if a patient asks to record a clinical encounter and the clinician refuses, the patient can proceed to record the encounter anyway. The clinician must then choose to continue or terminate the encounter.

In all-party jurisdictions, the clinician must be asked by the patient to record the clinical encounter. Any illegal recording can then be reported by the clinician to the authorities. Possible repercussions include compensation for harm, attorney’s fees, and other costs, with disseminating the recording via the Internet being considered an additional violation.”

Further reading:

Please comment below (Leave a Reply) if you have benefited from recording a consultation with a physician.

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