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Recurrence and Treatment of Ductal Breast Cancer

The decision regarding treatment following breast-conserving surgery for patients diagnosed with ductal breast cancer in-situ (DCIS) has long been an area of discussion and confusion for patients and physicians alike. While the survival rate for ductal in situ breast cancer is lhigh, the risk of cancer recurrence in the breast is also high. Standard treatments following surgery include radiation therapy and hormone treatment.  While both treatments have been proven to lower the risk of recurrence in the breast, neither has been shown to improve survival, and both carry potentially serious risks. In an attempt to help physicians and patients weigh the risks and benefits of the available options, researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have developed a new prediction tool that calculates a patient's individualized risk for recurrence five and ten years after surgery. 

The new tool is aimed at identifying the patient's risk of recurrence and helping the patient and her doctors decide on a post-surgical course of treatment.  For example, in a woman at very high risk of recurrence, the added benefit of radiation and/or hormone treatments would be relatively large as compared to a woman at very low risk of recurrence.

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