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DCIS patients overestimate breast cancer risks
Date:2/12/2008

sed distress and poor mental health that may be related to inaccurate, increased perceptions of breast cancer risks. Clinicians who are caring for the increasing number of women who are diagnosed with DCIS should be aware of these inaccurate perceptions and attempt to minimize them, the authors write.

In an accompanying editorial, H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt., and colleagues discuss the uncertainty surrounding a diagnosis of DCIS and the pitfalls of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Since DCIS does not always progress to invasive cancer, it may be reasonable to promote active surveillance instead of performing surgery on every woman with DCIS, the editorialists note.

Active surveillance could help women whose DCIS does not progress avoid treatment and allow those whose DCIS does progress to invasive cancer be diagnosed and treated when the prognosis is still extremely favorable, they write.

But they acknowledge that active surveillance can not alleviate the effects of uncertainty and anxiety caused by the diagnosis of DCIS. To avoid these, they write, doctors should question the value of making the diagnosis in the first place. The editorialists suggest clinical trials be conducted to test a strategy of biopsying only those breast tumors that are large enough to be palpated (e.g., > 1 cm).


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Contact: Liz Savage
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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