DCIS Recurrence, Will It Recur As In Situ Or Invasive Breast Cancer?

In this video, Dr. Harness explains the recurrence of DCIS.

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Dr. Jay Harness: When we do breast consevation for in situ breast cancer, patients realize upfront that their cancer can reoccur on the breast. And so one of the questions is, “If it does reoccur in my breast, is it going to reoccur as another in situ breast cancer, or could it recur as an invasive cancer?”

And that’s a really important question because if it reoccurs as an in situ breast cancer, the reoccurrence is not a threat to the patient’s life. If it reoccurs as an invasive cancer, then we potentially have a threat to the patient’s life.

If you look at a multitude of published studies on recurrence in the breast of in situ breast cancer, it’s roughly 50:50. It’s roughly 50% recurrence is in situ, 50% recurrence as invasive. Therefore, clearly, any patient who has had breast conservation for DCIS, or that matter for an invasive breast cancer, really requires very close monitoring, and clearly that means annual mammograms.

I am personally hoping that in the future that it will also include MRI examination. It may, in certain instances, also require surveillance with ultrasound in particularly very, very dense patients and there may be a time in the future where molecular imaging will play a role in trying to detect a recurrence of cancer in the breast.

So the bottom line is, ‘Yeah, you got to be followed really closely. You have certainly needed to have had the full multimodality of treatment if you had breast conservation, the appropriate surgery, the appropriate radiation therapy, the appropriate chemotherapy if it was invasive, and certainly the appropriate anti-estrogen therapy.‘

But in general, we need you to remember that in situ breast cancer, if it reoccurs in the breast, unfortunately about half the time, it can be invasive but certainly, obviously, treatable.

Dr. Jay K. Harness is a board certified surgeon currently treating patients at St. Joesph Hospital in Orange, CA. Dr. Harness specializes in complete breast health, breast cancer surgery, oncoplastic reconstruction, genetic screening, management of breast health issues, risk assessment and counseling. Dr. Harness is the medical director for Breast Cancer Answers.com, and guides this first ever social media show’s information by drawing on his former leadership experience as the President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1969 and spent time early on in his career at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

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