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Breast Cancer Exams Rarely Detect Second Cancers After DCIS

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Breast Cancer Exams Rarely Detect Second Cancers After DCIS

(CTN News) – A study published online Dec. 28 in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Breast Cancer Network indicates that very few second breast cancers are detected by clinical breast examination by patients undergoing surveillance following diagnosis and treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

A retrospective cohort study conducted by Bethany T. Waites, M.D., and colleagues examined the methods that can be used to detect second cancers in patients with DCIS treated between January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2011.

One thousand five hundred women (18 years of age on average at the time of diagnosis) were recruited and were followed up for a median period of ten years during the course of the study.

As a result of the follow-up study, 179 women (11.5 percent) developed a second breast cancer: 43.0, 54.8, and 2.2 percent of these women presented with ipsilateral, contralateral, and distant metastases, respectively. Sixteen percent of the second cancers were invasive, 36.3 percent were ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 2.2% were Paget disease, respectively.

As a result of the research, the researchers found that in 74.3% of cases, second breast cancers were found on imaging or pathology which were unrelated to oncologic care; in 20.1% of cases, patients discovered second breast cancers; and in 2.2% of cases, physicians discovered second breast cancers.

“Our findings demonstrate the importance of mammogram screening and patient education regarding self-detection of DCIS, and can help guide future recommendations for DCIS survivorship care from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network,” the authors write.

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