Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Breast Cancer DCIS & Mammogram Wars 2 articles - Weak ammunition? Will you stop having mammos?

More cannon fire on the web today about mammos vs no mammos.  I'll be having another before Christmas because I trust my oncologist.

I ask (beg) you that if you read either of these articles, read the whole thing.  Or print it out so you can mark the iffy parts and parts that don't pertain to you.

What If Everything Your Doctor Told You About Breast Cancer Was Wrong?

Mother Jones starts with a story about an angry post-surgery patient, Therese Taylor.  Her doctor said her biopsy was "indicative of cancer." The story goes on with a lengthy list of cancers to touch on, and the experiences of famous people.  Included are even numbers from studies MJ admits were not well organized or designed.  As you know, attempting to cover every possible argument can leave us with parts of a whole story.  And the heavy emotional opening ... well.

My questions:  DCIS is not palpable - your doc won't get it by touch and neither will you.  So if you don't have the mammogram, how do you know if you have the start of something else?

And hopping from one cancer to another can lead to over-simplification.

Cancers are not like rabbits or anything else, and the National Institutes of Health (the second) article does touch on possible, slightly possible migrating DCIS cells.


THURSDAY, Aug. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News)  

Early Stage Breast Cancer Far From a Death Sentence: Study

 -- Only 3 percent of women diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer
 will die of their disease within 20 years,
 and more aggressive treatment does not improve that high survival rate,..

Despite the fuzzy title, in the next paragraph, we find they are talking about DCIS.  And that DCIS treatment does not increase life span, which is not really  "news."   I got the same information a couple of years ago when my DCIS was suspected  and confirmed. A cancer hospital interactive"decision aid" advised us then not to hope whatever treatment we selected, if any, would make us live longer.  DCIS can come back. I took the treatment they said would "prevent recurrence" for a certain number of years.  

 Study first author Steven Narod,is quoted as saying "The good news is that death is pretty rare,"    I hate this kind of "for the press" generalization.

I beg you to read the "fine print" in this article.  For one thing,  death rates were estimated.

And don't stop reading before you get to this statement, which is something I've never heard before - scary.  But it reminds me of something I saw in a video from MEDPage Hot Topics.    The doctor who impressed me so much, Lisa Carey, MD, of Chapel Hill said in MedPage Hot Topics Breast Cancer One told us that some breast cancer cells are looking more like other cancer cells ... Now Steven Narod is quoted:

" 'In all, 956 women in the study ultimately died of breast cancer. Of those, 517 never had invasive cancer in the breast after treatment seemed to cure their DCIS. That means that the cancerous breast cells from their DCIS had escaped at some point and survived in the lungs or bone, later developing into a deadly cancer', Narod explained."  "...seemed to cure their DCIS."  This contradicts everything we've read about DCIS not spreading to the rest of the body!  

That's all I can manage on these two articles.   Food for investigation!

I wish you health.

My apologies for the mistakes in the the original of this post.  MLF

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