Debate Over Ductal Cancer in Situ Mortality Rates Continue

Link found between race and breast cancer life expectancy.

Link found between race and breast cancer life expectancy.

The debate surrounding stage 0 ductal cancer in situ (DCIS) in patients with breast cancer has long been one of medical interest. While the latest study on the topic did much to provide new insights into the disease, it did little to answer the multitude of questions surrounding the topic.

The study evaluated over 100,000 patients with DCIS over a 20 year period. Researchers found that roughly 3 percent of women with DCIS ultimately died of breast cancer. The study also revealed that just as many patients with DCIS undergo treatment as those who never receive treatment.

The results indicate that there is a clear connection between race and breast cancer mortality. Black women had a higher risk of death from stage 0 breast cancer than white, non-Hispanic women. The same was also true for black women compared with other ethnicities.

According to Dr. Steven Narod of the Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto, the risk of death largely depended on the size of a tumor and how aggressively it grew as well.

While the study highlighted a few high risk areas for patients with DCIS, it confounded others as many patients in the study died even after receiving radiation treatments. The symptoms were often undetectable, and it was often too late to treat the disease in these patients.

“Not all invasive cancers are lumps,” said Dr. Deanna Attai, a surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles. “All it takes are a few cells to burrow their way through.”

As the debate over the mortality of stage 0 breast cancer continues, the study provides insight into the effects of the disease and its dangers. As scientists study this area further, more information can be ascertained and physicians can be better prepared to treat instances of DCIS.