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July 2016

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Stage 0 Breast Cancer: When Less May Be Better

Author Affiliations
  • 1Chesterfield, South Carolina
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(7):887. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2254

In 2008, I had a routine mammogram that showed an abnormal finding. After a biopsy, I received the diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) stage 0 breast cancer.

I was referred to a surgeon who explained my options. He said that if I had to have breast cancer, DCIS stage 0 is the “best and least” I could have. He said that he was going to treat this very aggressively, which meant surgery and irradiation.

There is no history of breast cancer in my family, but I immediately thought about my dad who had died about 30 years earlier at age 59 years, 8 weeks after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I contemplated my mortality and the prospect of leaving behind my children and grandchildren.

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