Mammography Screening and DCIS

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I would like to suggest that ASCO take a proactive approach to the treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and the problem it presents to the oncology community. There has been and continues to be heated debate around the value of mammography screening because of “overdiagnosis,” which in my opinion only applies to DCIS, a mammography-detected disease that does pose some threat to a woman’s health.

I wonder whether the ASCO community could put together a task force to review approaches to treatment once a woman receives a diagnosis of DCIS. We had a great presentation on the topic by Dr. Laura Esserman at last year’s ASCO Annual Meeting, but there are other opinions and approaches.

The future of mammography screening relies on the medical community coming up with good explanations and options for women who may get this diagnosis if they participate in screening programs. Perhaps ASCO is not the best group to address this issue, as oncologists may not see many DCIS patients, but ASCO is a well organized and thoughtful group (of which I am a member). ■

—Judith Malmgren, MS, PhD
President, HealthStat Consulting, Inc.
Affiliate Assistant Professor, Epidemiology
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington




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