Martina’s “cancer” free –Is DCIS cancer?

It’s good news but not at all a surprise that Martina Navratilova is cancer free. She was diagnosed with a benign, actually a pre-cancerous minimal risk lesion, DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ). The in-situ terminology means that this lesion was localized. As a matter of fact many would say she never had cancer.

The finding of DCIS is not in itself dangerous and no one dies of this. Of those not treated for DCIS about 25% of those with the most aggressive form (high grade DCIS) will develop invasive cancer at some time in the future–and the great majority of those patients, if being monitored with mammography will have local curable disease.

Medicynical Note: In some discussions (ACS) of breast cancer, DCIS is included as a type of “breast cancer” and shows a 100% cure rate. Including DCIS with invasive breast cancer is misleading and many think now that it leads to over treatment.

So it is not at all surprising that Marina is “cancer” free.

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