Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Article

I met for tea with a group of cancer survivors and the hot topic was the New York Times article about misdiagnosed DCIS. Will this article cast a shadow on screening? Will the standard of care for DCIS now include a second pathology report?

I wonder how I would feel if  someone told me my cancer was all a mistake?

I once spoke to a doctor who said that the earlier the stage, the MORE emotional stress a woman goes through. This makes sense, DCIS patients sometimes have an overwhelming array of options and opinions about their condition.



  1. Suzanne,

    Thanks for posting this. It's a very, very important topic. Even before this came out I've always urged women to seek a second opinion (especially on pathology) if her diagnosis was made at a community hospital. Go to an academically based cancer center. It may add a week or two to your search -- but in the course of your lifetime? Can't be measured.

    I'm also writing to show differences in DCIS treatment over the course of a decade. In l997, my neighbor was diagnosed with DCIS. She had a guided biopsy, was in the hospital for two hours and home that afternoon. She's been fine since. About eight years later another woman from our neighborhood received the same diagnosis. She was absolutely (and unfortunately, unnecessarily) terrified. She chose to have a double mastectomy, which absolutely confounded her surgeon. He tried to tell her it was unnecessary. In this case, awareness became fear.

    I disagree with the doctor who says that the earlier diagnosis, the greater the anxiety. The anxiety is about not knowing, not understanding. We need to get a grip on our fear culture and a grasp of what we can do with knowledge, education and understanding.

    Keep up the great dialog!


  2. I think the doctor, who does research on mental health and breast cancer, was suggesting early stage women who have the biggest range of treatment options, experience more stress than an early stage patient whose conditions indicates as clear course of action.

    Essentially, making the chemo or no chemo choice can be tough, or the lump vs. mast choice.

    Thanks for commenting!! I hope you are having a great summer!