A brief update about my health issues because I received a lot of messages with health questions from the community (❤️).
Since it often proves challenging to respond to everyone personally, as it can be quite time-consuming, I’ve decided to post a more comprehensive update here on the website. Furthermore, a blog post allows for more text than an Instagram caption to explain exactly what is going on.
I bravely shared on Instagram that I was going to the hospital for a mammogram, expecting it to be another cyst – I’ve had a few in my life. I never expected the outcome to be different. But when you start something, you also have to finish it, and now I’m sharing this new “journey.” My goal is to raise awareness about DCIS and remind women to have their breasts checked regularly, even before they turn 50.
During a previous mammogram at the end of last year, DCIS was discovered in my left breast. I initially went for a lump that I had found in my right breast, which later turned out to be a cyst.
The discovery of DCIS (which I had never heard of before) was, therefore, coincidental. Many women only find out they have breast cancer much later. I consider myself lucky that it was discovered by chance at this moment.
The spot in question is not larger than a few millimeters, and I would never have felt it myself. It’s too small for that. Through a PET scan and an MRI, they checked if there were any more spots in my breast, but that’s not the case.
The diagnosis in my case is DCIS stage 1, and the doctors currently see no immediate need for surgery. I have been given the choice to participate in a study where I will be monitored or to undergo surgery and preventive radiation treatment right away. I have chosen option 1.
I will receive another call from the hospital after the summer, and if there have been significant changes in the meantime, the hospital will provide advice on next steps. For now, I’m letting it go and trusting my body, living a healthy lifestyle, and paying attention to my diet.
If there are any changes to my situation in the meantime, I will post an update.
What is DCIS?
DCIS stands for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, and I’ll explain it in a more relatable way.
DCIS is a type of breast cancer, but it’s often considered the earliest and least invasive stage of breast cancer. In DCIS, cancerous cells are found inside the milk ducts of the breast, but they haven’t spread beyond that area into the surrounding breast tissue or other parts of the body.
Imagine the milk ducts in your breast like small tubes or pipes that carry milk. In DCIS, some cells in these ducts start behaving abnormally and become cancerous, forming a cluster of cancer cells. However, at this stage, these cancer cells are confined within the ducts; they haven’t broken out or spread elsewhere.
DCIS is usually detected through routine breast screenings like mammograms. It’s considered non-invasive because it hasn’t invaded nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. However, it’s essential to treat DCIS because if left untreated, there’s a small chance it could progress into invasive breast cancer, where the cancer cells do start to invade nearby tissues.
The good news is that DCIS is highly treatable, and the treatments can vary, often involving surgery to remove the affected ducts or, in some cases, radiation therapy. The goal is to prevent it from advancing into invasive breast cancer and to ensure your long-term health.
So, in a nutshell, DCIS is an early stage of breast cancer where cancerous cells are found in the milk ducts but haven’t spread beyond them, and it’s usually detected early through screenings, making it highly treatable with a good prognosis.
Is DCIS cancer, and how is it different from invasive breast cancer?
DCIS is considered a non-invasive or early stage of breast cancer. The key difference is that in DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts and have not invaded nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body, unlike invasive breast cancer.
How is DCIS usually detected?
DCIS is often detected through routine breast screenings, particularly mammograms. It may not cause noticeable symptoms or lumps, making regular screenings crucial for early diagnosis.
What are the treatment options for DCIS?
Treatment for DCIS typically involves surgery to remove the affected ducts, which can be done through a lumpectomy (removal of the abnormal area and a margin of normal tissue) or a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Radiation therapy may also be recommended after surgery in some cases. Hormone therapy or targeted therapy may be considered in specific situations.
What is the prognosis for DCIS?
The prognosis for DCIS is generally very favorable. Since it’s an early-stage cancer, the chances of a complete cure are high. However, it’s essential to follow the recommended treatment plan, as untreated DCIS can, in some cases, progress to invasive breast cancer over time.