Cancer schmancer, expert panel says

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Would the term ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, make you any less worried?

DCIS refers to abnormal cells in a milk duct, or what is generally considered the earliest form of breast cancer. OK. Let’s take away the word “carcinoma” — less stressed now?

A panel of oncologists and researchers is recommending that:

Use of the term “cancer” should be reserved for describing lesions with a reasonable likelihood of lethal progression if left untreated.

“We terrify (women) with DCIS thinking they have cancer,” lead author Dr. Laura Esserman tells KQED. “We could wait six months to see if something changes without making people hysterical.”

 

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