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  • Dr. Debra Copit, Director of Breast Imaging, Responds to Scientists Trying to Change Definition of Cancer

    Published: 07/31/2013

    Our own Dr. Debra Copit, Director of Breast imaging, Einstein Women's Health and Wellness Center, responds to scientists trying to change the definition of cancer, like ductal carcinoma in situ which affects the breasts.

    Dr. Copit:

    Ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS is a form of cancer that begins in the milk ducts where 90% of all breast cancer starts.

    Although there are some forms of DCIS that tend to be less aggressive, there are many that if left alone invade through the wall of the duct and become invasive carcinoma.

    Once a cancer invades the wall of the milk duct it has access to blood vessels and lymphatic channels and therefore, it can spread or metastasize. We try our best to find these cancers before they can spread to improve our patients' chances of survival. The combination of this, early detection and better treatment has led to an improvement in survival of breast cancer patients.

    It would be criminal in my mind to simply decide that DCIS is not cancer. Those of us who diagnose, treat, and truly care about our patients know that our patients deserve to know if they have cancer and, simply, patients who are told that DCIS is not cancer are at risk for not being treated appropriately.

  • Communications Team