Thursday, August 20, 2015

Aggressive Treatment For DCIS May Not Save Lives, Study Suggests

ABC World News (8/20, story 5, 0:25, Muir) reported that research suggests “that aggressive treatment for what some doctors say is the earliest stage of” breast cancer “may not be necessary to save lives.”

The AP (8/21) reports that for the study, published online in JAMA Oncology, investigators “analyzed U.S. government data on more than 100,000 women diagnosed from 1988 to 2011 with DCIS — ductal carcinoma in situ.”

TIME (8/21, Park) reports that “overall a diagnosis of DCIS was associated with a higher risk — 3% — of dying of breast cancer in 20 years compared to women who didn’t have the cancer,” with the risk being “highest for younger women (diagnosed before age 35) and for black women.” However, “when the researchers looked more carefully at the women with DCIS, their rates of breast cancer recurrence and their death rates, they found that those getting surgery and radiation or just surgery did indeed lower their risk of getting a recurrent cancer, but did not reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer.”

On its front page, the Washington Post (8/21, Johnson, Cha) reports that these “findings add to concerns that the ability to detect these lesions through mammograms may be leading to unnecessary mastectomies.”

Similarly, in a 1,400-word article on its front page, the New York Times (8/21, A1, Kolata, Subscription Publication) reports that these “findings are likely to fan debate about whether tens of thousands of patients are undergoing unnecessary and sometimes disfiguring treatments for premalignant conditions that are unlikely to develop into life-threatening cancers.”

USA Today (8/21, Calfas) reports, however, that “authors of the study argue DCIS should be considered cancer and should be treated as such, while others say aggressive treatment may not be necessary.” The New York Times (8/21, A13, Kolata, Subscription Publication) also carries a piece titled “Breast Cancer Treatment And D.C.I.S.: Answers To Questions About New Findings.” Also covering the story are the San Diego Union-Tribune (8/20), HealthDay (8/21, Willingham), and Medscape (8/21). 


Categories: 2015, August, News, Screening and MammographyNumber of views: 12425