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Rethinking Stage Zero Breast Cancer

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) sometimes called "Stage Zero Breast Cancer" isn’t really breast cancer. In itself it isn’t harmful, although some cases - perhaps many fewer than once thought - may progress to invasive breast cancer. The question of how DCIS should be treated has been controversial for some time. A longitudinal study on this subject included 108,196 women in the U.S. who were diagnosed with the condition, treated, and followed for 20 years. Its conclusion suggests that up to 80 percent of the participants did not need the aggressive treatment many received - usually lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy, mastectomy or even double mastectomy.

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