“The time is now to discuss a change in the approach to DCIS. We should be demanding change.” –
Dr. Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, professor of surgery and radiology at UCSF. She is also the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UCSF.
The danger of over-treating DCIS
Why am I also demanding a change in the approach to DCIS? Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was rarely diagnosed before the advent of breast screening, yet it now accounts for 25% of detected ‘breast cancers.’ Over 60,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year in the USA, more than 7000 in the UK, and more than 2500 in the Netherlands. Learn more about this study here.
DCIS is a prime example of OVER-diagnosis. The chances of developing breast cancer from DCIS are less than 1%!
For example, “In the last few decades, we’ve learned that the types of breast cancers that do not grow, or grow very slowly and do not spread, are more common than expected. So they would never impact a woman in her lifetime.”
This leads to crippling fear, anxiety, and a significant cost to the patient’s finances and health. The worst part—is the “treatment for “stage zero” or “pre-cancer” can actually trigger the development of breast cancer. The treatment can sometimes be the cause of medically induced cancers.
As you have learned in my book and this blog, over-diagnosis, and over-treatment in conventional medicine are serious and harmful issues. Women undergoing traditional breast cancer screenings (mammograms) have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with a “false positive.” Suppose a benign tumor such as DCIS is found. In that case, treatments such as biopsies, surgery, and radiation for a cyst that has not developed into cancer may happen.
However, with all the probing and prodding causing assaults on the breast, it often does develop into cancer. When sensitive breast tissue is subjected to excessive radiation and chemical toxicity, it may actually stimulate the growth of cancer and cause it to be more aggressive. A Norwegian study that followed two groups of women for 5 years found that those who had mammograms every 2 years had 22% more breast cancers than those who had just had one screening in 6 years. This could be from the radiation and the compression leading to rupturing of small tumors in blood vessels, spreading malignant cancer cells throughout the body.
What to do after a DCIS diagnosis
Always remember to take your time and keep asking yourself, “Am I making an informed decision?” Do I know ALL of my options? Are you feeling rushed or pressured to move too quickly? Always listen to your gut and your heart. It is always a good idea to get a second and third (or more!) opinion. This is your life. You are in full control. Cancer is just a symptom of a larger health condition, which is good news!
Epigenetics tells us that our DNA is not our destiny! It is the study of how the world you live in and how you interact with it can influence how your genes express themselves. How you sleep, eat, manage stress, exercise, and enjoy life all play a massive role in preventing and healing from dis-eases, especially breast cancer. You do have the power to change your health. This is why I created the 7 Essentials System® as your blueprint to living a vibrantly healthy life!
Safe, non-invasive & accurate DCIS Tools
Another big piece of good news is that plenty of respected breast cancer specialists have the “wait and see” perspective. Active surveillance can help women diagnosed with DCIS avoid unnecessary treatment and extreme emotional and financial distress.
If you have been diagnosed with DCIS, below are a few non-invasive, safe, and accurate tests to discuss with your doctor, breast cancer coach, or any other medical provider on your team.
- Thermography: Detects abnormal patterns at the cellular stage BEFORE the tumor is established. It is 95-97% accurate and can detect the early stages of development when it is the size of a pinhead. By the time it is seen on a mammogram, the tumor has been developing for 5 to 8 years.
- The Cancer Profile by American Metabolics Labs: It is made up of eight 8 tests that check for early detection of the “malignancy hormone,” HCG, as well as the “malignancy promoter,” PHI. The results can foretell the development of malignancies years prior to standard diagnosis. With this crucial information, you can take appropriate nutritional, medical, and lifestyle action!
- The Galleri Test. This test will check your blood for over 50 different types of cancers, including breast cancer. It also detects abnormalities in the methylation patterns of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) that could indicate the presence of cancer.
You have all the resources to be healthy!
If you are diagnosed with DCIS—time is on your side. Take a step back, see the whole picture of your life, research, and learn. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to the Breast Cancer Conqueror via the Caring Assistant Form (scroll down). We are here to provide comfort, support, and advice.
Your ‘Wheel of Fortune”
Another great idea is to create your own “DCIS Wheel of Support” and “Wheel of Healing from the Inside-Out!” Donna Pinto created a blog called DCIS411.com to share her journey. Take a moment to do the same.
Draw out where you are getting support: practical, informational, and emotional. “Practical” could help you get from those in your house or close friends. “Informational” could be reading this blog and your personal research, talking with your coach, and listening to The Wellness Warrior Podcast are also excellent places to gather information. “Emotional” could be the support you receive from meditation, joining like-minded support groups, going to live music shows, riding your bike in the sunshine…whatever you do to manage stress and anxiety.
Next, create a wheel and list out all of the ways you will actively heal. Prongs of your wheel could be as specific as detoxing from amalgam removal or speaking out loud one thing you love about yourself every morning. If you run out of space, just make a bigger wheel! This is your life—make it fulfilling!