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Study Suggests Some Treatment For Early Breast Cancer Is Unnecessary

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What many doctors consider to be a very early form of breast cancer may not be as risky as once thought. That's what's suggested in a new study out today. NPR's Rob Stein reports that the findings are the latest indication that some women are getting unnecessary treatment for breast cancer.

ROB STEIN, BYLINE: When thousands of women get the results of their mammograms, they get what sounds like really scary news. They have something called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS for short. But Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society says there's a big debate about what DCIS really is.

OTIS BRAWLEY: It is considered by certain groups to be an early cancer. It's considered by other groups to be a precancerous lesion. And it's considered by yet a third cohort of groups to be a risk factor for cancer.

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