Dr. Kuerer on the Overtreatment of DCIS

Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS
Published Online: Friday, May 9, 2014
Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS, professor of surgery, Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the overtreatment of DCIS.

Kuerer says about 60,000-65,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year and many are overtreated with surgery, radiation, and endocrine manipulation. Overdiagnosis occurs because it is difficult to determine which patients will progress to invasive breast cancer.

In order to get a better understanding of the disease process, Kuerer says researchers are testing the use of promising agents before surgery. One study, which is still accruing, is looking at treating post-menopausal women with DCIS with endocrine therapy and surgery 3-6 months later. Kuerer says resarchers are hopeful that they will be able to identify a significant number of patients who might be able to just watch and wait while taking oral therapy.

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