NewsBreast Cancer

Dare to Do Less

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Science  28 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6178, pp. 1454-1456
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6178.1454

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More than 60,000 U.S. women each year are diagnosed with abnormal breast tissue known as DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ. Their numbers surged in the 1980s as the use of x-ray mammography increased. DCIS is usually treated with surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy, even though most DCIS—98%—does not lead to fatal cancer. Some oncologists are developing less aggressive methods, including gene-based tools to identify low- and high-risk DCIS types. They aim to help women avoid unnecessary radiation and mastectomy.