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New study stokes debate about early-stage breast cancer treatments, shines light on need for primary prevention

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By Breast Cancer Fund Director of Science Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D.

A new study, published in JAMA Oncology, found that aggressive treatments (surgery followed by radiation therapy) of ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, did not lead to a reduction in death. While the study sparks questions about how DCIS should be classified and treated, it also underlines the importance of primary prevention.

DCIS is a condition where abnormal cells are found on the lining of the breast milk ducts, but have not spread outside of the ducts to surrounding tissue. It is often referred to as Stage 0 cancer. The question is whether or not the condition should be identified and treated as cancer, pre-cancer or a risk factor. Surgery and radiation may be considered over treatment if it is a risk factor.

Prevention Starts Here

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