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4 | PAINT IT ALL PINK | 2016

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

MAKING THE

BEST DECISION

Treatment advice varies for DCIS

T

he best way to treat — or not to treat — a possible precursor to breast cancer has women considering their options while experts offer conflicting advice. A new review published in the journal JAMA Oncology stresses that the best care is to actively treat ductal carcinoma in situ, also known as DCIS. DCIS occurs when abnormal cells are confined to the milk ducts in the breast. Often called “pre-cancer” or “stage zero” cancer, the most accurate term is simply DCIS, said Cleveland Clinic radiation oncologist Dr. Chirag Shah. “Pre-cancer is a misleading term. Stage zero can refer to other things such as LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ). It’s best to simply call it DCIS,” he said.

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IN BRIEF

Study: IVF doesn’t increase breast cancer risk By Melissa Erickson

underwent IVF between 1983 and 1995 and concluded that they were no more likely to develop breast significant new study cancer than women in the general confirms what previous population or women who were studies also found treated for fertility but did not to be true: in vitro undergo IVF. Not only was there fertilization is not linked to an no significant increase of breast increased risk of breast cancer. cancer risk in the study popula“Women have tion, it was also found “We know pregnancy doesn’t that women who long been conincrease risk for breast cancer. received more than cerned that IVF may raise their risk In fact it can lower risk.” six IVF treatments of breast cancer. had a lower breast Dr. Richard J. Paulson While there’s never cancer risk than been any study women who received one or two that linked IVF and breast treatments. cancer, this study is significant For decades, breast cancer has because of its huge size and been the most common maligthe length of follow up,” said Dr. nancy among women worldwide. Richard J. Paulson, chief, Division Estrogen and progesterone, both of Reproductive Endocrinology and used in IVF, have been implicated in Infertility, Keck School of Medicine, cancer risk. Estrogen levels increase University of Southern California. during IVF to facilitate pregnancy. The study looked at the results “I like to use an analogy,” said from over 25,000 women who Paulson, president-elect, American More Content Now

A

Society for Reproductive Medicine. During a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen levels reach 300. During IVF estrogen levels reach 3,000 – 10 times as high. During pregnancy, estrogen levels hit 30,000, 10 times higher than IVF and 100 times more than a normal menstrual cycle, he said. “We know pregnancy doesn’t increase risk for breast cancer. In fact it can lower risk. The brief increase of hormone levels during IVF is not thought to have an effect” on increasing risk of breast cancer, Paulson said. “It’s not Earth-shattering news,” Paulson said. “Previous studies indicated the same thing, but it confirms what we have thought: Ovary stimulation (during IVF) does not increase the risk of breast cancer.” The study by researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam was published in JAMA.


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