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Early breast cancer riskier for young women and blacks, study finds


A new study has found that women who develop Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) have less chances of dying from breast cancer. It also found that the treatment is unlikely to bring any change in the result, but the disease was found to be riskier for young women and blacks.breast-cancer-chemotherapy

For the study, researchers analyzed the data of more than 100,000 with DCIS from 1998 to 2011. Women were aged 54 on average at diagnosis, and the mean duration of follow-up was 7.5 years. About 20 years after diagnosis, death rates totaled about three percent, whose breast cancer was confined to the milk duct. The study found that death rates were twice as high for ones younger than 35 and in blacks. But, the death rate was lower in those with invasive breast cancer.

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“Though low, the risk of dying from breast cancer was almost twice as high as the breast cancer in the general population of U.S women,” said Dr. Steven Narod, lead author and scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto.

 During the study years, more than 900 women died of breast cancer, and some had developed invasive diseases in either breast. But, more than 500 deaths were never diagnosed with second tumor or recurrence, indicating that their DCIS has spread before they received treatment, according to Narod. Susan Fraser, Cancer Council Australia medical adviser and breast cancer expert said they will have to start looking at things like the grade and size, whether it is oestrogen positive or negative, if it’s in a very young person or a much older person and if it’s very small.

Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer said women with DCIS should not panic as chances being cured are good. He added that the disease can behave like invasive cancer and doctors should discuss rates for recurrence and death, and inform patients of all options.

Research at a glance:

  • The purpose of this study was to estimate the mortality from breast cancer following a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and to identify risk factors for death from breast cancer.

  • The 20-year breast cancer–specific mortality rate following a diagnosis of DCIS was 3.3%.

  • Young age at diagnosis and black ethnicity were significant predictors of breast cancer mortality.

  • Prevention of invasive in-breast recurrence with either radiotherapy or mastectomy did not prevent death from breast cancer.

  • The clinical course of women with DCIS is similar to that of women with small invasive breast cancers.


About Anirudh Madhav

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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