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Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

Messages to others with DCIS

The people we talked to passed on messages of advice to others, based on their own experience. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for someone else. Here are their comments:

  • Try not to panic if you are diagnosed with DCIS. It has a good prognosis and is easy to treat. You can still live a full life or a more enriched life afterwards.
 

Jane says that DCIS is very early breast cancer and can be treated. There is a lot of helpful...

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Jane says that DCIS is very early breast cancer and can be treated. There is a lot of helpful...

Age at interview: 59
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 58
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If somebody’s newly diagnosed from my experience I’d say, “Don’t worry.” It really is, relatively speaking, easy to deal with and it didn’t involve any horrible pain. No pain at all. It didn’t involve any horrible treatments. Do try to think of yourself as quite lucky that it’s been caught at such a very, very early stage. And that thousands of other people have it. Find out as much as you can. There are lots, there’s load and loads and loads of information out there. There are lots of really good websites. And lots of really good information you can print out and you’ll get given lots. And just, then just get on with your life because it’s really, try and think of it as a kind of a minor bypass really on real life.
 

Beverley says that, although women often worry when they’re diagnosed with DCIS, it has a good...

Beverley says that, although women often worry when they’re diagnosed with DCIS, it has a good...

Age at interview: 52
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 50
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Well, the only thing is with DCIS it has an extremely good prognosis, doesn’t it? I mean you, really the only thing is you feel you're making an awful lot of fuss over nothing. And that's one of the things that, but you're not because you're having to go through all the, you know, if you're having a mastectomy, you’re having to go through all the problems, the body change. You’ve still got worries that it may come back, it may come in the other breast. You’ve got a higher risk of that. You've got a higher risk of other things and you've got every reason to feel worried about it.
 
But it has got a very good prognosis. So, you know, you're not like people with invasive, you've got a lot better chance of carrying on a normal life. And actually you can carry on and actually have a more enriched life really because it's, I’ve actually gained an awful lot, a terrific amount. It's not the end of the world. It's different [laughs]. It’s something that you can just get on now and really start to live your life because that's made me realise that's what you've got to do, is get out there and live your life. We all of us plod along on our everyday lives and don't realise it.
  • Get as much information as you need before making treatment decisions. There is no need to rush. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Write down any questions you have before seeing doctors in case you forget them during the consultation.
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  • Look after yourself before and after surgery. The fitter you feel, the better you’ll deal with things.
 

Maisie says that, although she had a double mastectomy and other treatment for invasive breast...

Maisie says that, although she had a double mastectomy and other treatment for invasive breast...

Age at interview: 51
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 51
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What I’m saying to the woman and everybody that is going through it, they found the cancer early, they took it out. They reconstruct me, you had the operation, you went through the chemo. There’s nothing to be, even if you have the chemo, you have the radiotherapy and everything, there is nothing to be... I look at it, there is nothing to be sad about because they are trying to make you better and you’re still getting on with your life. And that is the way I look at it, you know. That’s why I’m not, you see I’m laughing and it may look like I haven’t had it. I haven’t had a bad experience but I have had two breasts where the cancer was in, maybe not in the left, in the right hand because, as I said, this, that the dc thing, stuff it could either go that way or this way. It could have been cancer or it couldn’t have been. But I’ve got two, I had two mastectomies. You know, and my stomach and it’s still not better yet, my stomach still isn’t better. But you just get on with what you have to get on with and make yourself, you know.
 
Help it along, eat the right stuff go, on walks. Do a bit of exercise. You know, even if you go to work you can still go when you get home from work. Because when I used to work, I used to finish at 7 o’clock in the evening I still used to go for walks. And this was in the winter. My friend and I, up the road, go for walks, you know, just to keep yourself fit.
 
So at the moment I can’t see any down side to it, I just cannot. You might say, “Oh, you haven’t had my experience, you don’t know what I’m going through, you have your husband for backup.” But even if I think, you must have somebody, even if I think I didn’t have my husband I would, I still wouldn’t see, apart from having the cancer which is a downside, I still wouldn’t see a downside because I’m getting the treatment and I’m getting better. You know, and that’s the way I look at it. So all I can see is a positive side to everything. I think that’s all I have to say [laughs].
  • Don't be afraid to accept help and support from other people. Don’t be afraid of telling people you have DCIS because they can be supportive.
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  • Talk to people about your feelings. Talking to other women who have been through something similar can also help.
  • Be kind to yourself. Take time to recover properly and don’t rush back to work.
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  • Keep positive. Search for the positives and don't dwell on the negatives.
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  • Always attend for routine breast screening as any breast problems can then be detected and treated early.

Last reviewed July 2017.

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