When we talk about breast cancer this usually means tumours that grow into the surrounding breast tissue, called invasive breast cancer.
However, sometimes cancerous changes develop within the lobules or ducts of the breast and do not break out into the surrounding tissue.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) refers to non-invasive cancerous changes that are contained within the ducts. Researchers believe they have identified a molecule – called αvβ6 (alpha v beta 6) – that could be key to preventing over-treatment of breast cancer by revealing which cases of DCIS are most likely to develop into early invasive breast cancer.
Around 4,800 cases of DCIS are diagnosed each year in the UK with early signs of breast cancer but until now doctors have been unable to distinguish between the cases which will become dangerous, and those which do not need treatment.
Scientists say they have made a huge step forward in developing a simple test, which could free half such women from undergoing needless surgery and gruelling sessions of radiotherapy and hormone therapy.
- Read Significant breakthrough could tackle over-diagnosis and over-treatment of breast cancer, BCCampaign, 3 Dec 2013.
- Study abstract: Altered Microenvironment Promotes Progression of Pre-Invasive Breast Cancer: myoepithelial expression of αvβ6 integrin in DCIS identifies high-risk patients and predicts recurrence. American Association for Cancer Research, Oct 2013.
- Analysis: Test could help prevent unnecessary breast cancer treatment, say scientists, The Guardian, 3 Dec 2013.
- Analysis: Breast cancer breakthrough could spare thousands needless treatment, The Telegraph, 3 Dec 2013.
For DES Daughters, and in the UK
- Are you a probable DES Daughter? See this Chart and establish how much Risk you face!
- Breast Cancer Screening in Women exposed in Utero to DiEthylStilbestrol.
- NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme : DES exposed Women .and Breast screening in UK.
- Prenatal DiEthylStilbestrol Exposure and Risk of Breast Cancer.
- Risk of Breast Cancer in Women exposed to DiEthylStilbestrol in Utero, NCBI preliminary Results.