Discovery on How Breast Cancer May Spread

SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they have discovered how to predict if the most common form of breast cancer may later spread.

Lead author Karla Kerlikowske of the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, says the most common form of breast cancer –ductal carcinoma in situ — rarely leads to death, but approximately 11 out of 100 women treated by lumpectomy develop invasive cancer within eight years of the initial diagnosis.

In this group of women, 1 percent to 2 percent of women die of breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis, Kerlikowske says.

“Women will have much more information, so they can better know their risk of developing invasive cancer,” Kerlikowske says in a statement. “It will lead to a more personalized approach to treatment. As many as 44 percent of patients with ductal carcinoma in situ may not require any further treatment, and can rely instead on surveillance.”

The discovery allows physicians to pinpoint the group of patients with the lowest risk and the group at highest risk of developing invasive cancer, the researchers said.

The findings are published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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