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Breast Cancer

DCIS surgery in Dec. 2006 with no radiation

08/29/2007

Question:

I HAVE A QUESTION THAT IS ON MY MIND FOR A WHILE. I AM 49 YEARS OLD AND IN DEC.2006 I HAD BEAST SURGERY (LUMPECTOMY FOR DCIS). THERE WERE ZERO NODES INVOLVED. I WENT TO RADIOLOGIST AND WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE TREATMENT FOR 8 WEEKS. I WAS TOLD THE DCIS WAS `AGGRESSIVE AND NEEDED TREATMENT,BUT NO MEDICINES. DUE TO FAMILY EMERGENCIES I WAS NOT ABLE TO GET THE RADIATION. FIRST- WOULD IT HELP IF I GOT THE TREATMENT NOW ALMOST 9 MONTHS AFTER SURGERY. WHAT IS THE RECURRANCE RATE OF CAncer without radiation treatment. and last whatis it meant that the dcis is `aggressive`? thanks and god bless

Answer:

I would recommend still meeting with the radiation oncologist, but would probably repeat a mammogram before instituting any therapy.  I am not sure if a 9 month delay would mean you could no longer benefit from radiation, although it is usually started about 4-6 weeks after surgery.  Radiation therapy certainly does decrease the rate of recurrence, although it is hard to know exactly how much without seeing the pathology report.  It is also hard to say what "aggressive" means without seeing the pathology report.  Most experts say that radiation decreases the likelihood of recurrence by half.

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University