A diagnosis of DCIS raises all sorts of questions. Is it cancer? Is it life threatening? What is the treatment? How can this be when I didn't even have a lump?
A new resource is available that really helps with understanding what is DCIS. It's a Booklet for Women with DCIS, developed and produced by the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.
Last week in the DCIS support group that I co-facilitate we discussed this booklet. Here is what one group member said:
I wished I had this booklet when I was first diagnosed. It took me two months to really understand the steps of surgery with the goal of clear margins first...then radiation and potential medication. My stress level would have been less. Also, it puts DCIS into a realistic perspective as compared to the other stages of breast cancer. I would have been less fearful because I was not differentiating stage 0 from the stage 1 or 2.
The Booklet for Women with DCIS focuses only on DCIS (sometimes called "Stage 0" breast cancer). It does not address Lobular Cancer in Situ (LCIS) or invasive breast cancer. It explains what DCIS is. When you are diagnosed with DCIS you have decisions to make about surgery and what to do afterwards. Included in this booklet is a chart that compares the advantages and disadvantages of DCIS treatment options. And while the booklet says that DCIS is something to take seriously, it isn't an emergency. You have time to talk with your doctors, learn about your treatment choices, perhaps get a second opinion and decide what treatment you want to have.
Once you hear that DCIS can not kill you, you are able to take deeper breaths and begin to think more clearly about your options.
Check out this great booklet here: The Booklet for Women with DCIS Developed by the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.
Also, you might want to check out Fast Facts on DCIS for Medical Professionals, also developed by the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund.
Deb is Data Manager at SHARE.