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Study sparks debate on treatment for early stage breast cancer

A new study released Thursday sparked a debate on the importance of treatment options for women diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer.

The study found that treatment such as radiation for women diagnosed with with DCIS —ductal carcinoma in situ — or stage 0 breast cancer does not eliminate the threat of breast cancer at 10 years. However, researchers studied 100,000 women diagnosed with DCIS for 20 years, and found 97% of them did not die from breast cancer after undergoing treatment.

About 60,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Stage 0 breast cancer is non-invasive and is located only in the milk ducts of the breast, according to breastcancer.org. 

The study, published in the JAMA Oncology journal, reignited a debate as to whether or not DCIS qualifies as cancer, and encouraged doctors to research the risks of DCIS more to determine the best treatment options for patients.

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USA Today

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