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What would be acceptable treatment options for DCIS 7cm?

By Anonymous June 6, 2012 - 3:42pm
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Prior to having this diagnosis, I had opted for bilateral mastectomies (prophylactic) due to high risk familial/and positive brca2 gene. The procedure I was to have was skin sparing with immediate reconstruction(saline expanders). During the procedure, DCIS was found in the right breast 7cm. No nodes were removed. The specimen had clear margins.

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Hi Anonymous,

This is something left up to your doctor to determine. You should feel comfortable enough to mention it to her during your next visit. 

Keep us posted,


June 13, 2012 - 6:27am

Hello Anonymous,

Thank you for sharing your diagnosis with us, I am sure you are going through a very difficult time right now and I hope you have a good support system at home. 

Treatment options for ductal carcinoma in situ is based on different factors, these include: 

  • Type and stage of the cancer

  • Whether the cancer is sensitive to certain hormones

  • Whether the cancer overproduces (overexpresses) a gene called HER2/neu

In general, cancer treatments may include:

  • Chemotherapy medicines to kill cancer cells

  • Radiation therapy to destroy cancerous tissue

  • Surgery to remove cancerous tissue -- a lumpectomy removes the breast lump; mastectomy removes all or part of the breast and possible nearby structures

Hormonal therapy is prescribed to women with ER-positive breast cancer to block certain hormones that fuel cancer growth.

  • An example of hormonal therapy is the drug tamoxifen. This drug blocks the effects of estrogen, which can help breast cancer cells survive and grow. Most women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer benefit from this drug.

  • Another class of hormonal therapy medicines called aromatase inhibitors, such as exemestane (Aromasin), have been shown to work just as well or even better than tamoxifen in postmenopausal women with breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors blockestrogen from being made.

Targeted therapy, also called biologic therapy, is a newer type of cancer treatment. This therapy uses special anticancer drugs that target certain changes in a cell that can lead to cancer. One such drug is trastuzumab (Herceptin). It may be used for women with HER2-positive breast cancer.

Cancer treatment may be local or systemic.

  • Local treatments involve only the area of disease. Radiation and surgery are forms of local treatment.

  • Systemic treatments affect the entire body. Chemotherapy is a type of systemic treatment.

Most women receive a combination of treatments. For women with stage I, II, or III breast cancer, the main goal is to treat the cancer and prevent it from returning (curing). For women with stage IV cancer, the goal is to improve symptoms and help them live longer. In most cases, stage IV breast cancer cannot be cured.

  • Stage 0 and DCIS -- Lumpectomy plus radiation or mastectomy is the standard treatment. There is some controversy on how best to treat DCIS.

  • Stage I and II -- Lumpectomy plus radiation or mastectomy with some sort of lymph node removal is the standard treatment. Hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and biologic therapy may also be recommended following surgery.

  • Stage III -- Treatment involves surgery, possibly followed by chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biologic therapy.

  • Stage IV -- Treatment may involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or a combination of these treatments.

After treatment, some women will continue to take medications such as tamoxifen for a period of time. All women will continue to have blood tests, mammograms, and other tests after treatment.

Women who have had a mastectomy may have reconstructive breast surgery, either at the same time as the mastectomy or later.


All the best to you!


June 7, 2012 - 5:22am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

Thanks Rosa,

I didn't have any nodes checked. My surgeon was hesitant to check them as I have crps in my right arm (the side of the cancer) and she didn't want to check without my approval (under anestesia when cancer found) Is it recommended with DCIS that the nodes be checked? My DCIS was 7cm which I am told is a larger size than what normally is found with DCIS

June 12, 2012 - 7:36pm
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