Q: Can breast cancer be prevented?

Now, the good news about breast cancer is that it is a preventable disease. Breast cancer, in its earlier stage, consists of cancerous cells all confined within the breast ducts. This is a stage where we call Ductal Carcinoma in Situ or DCIS. This is a stage that can render breast cancer curable because if we can potentially remove these can cerous cells that are still confined within the breast ducts, we are in fact removing the cancer from the body even before it can invade into the body system. By treating breast cancer at its DCIS stage, it can be cured. Now, DCIS can be detected, not from a woman’s symptoms. A woman with DCIS does not feel any breast lumps but DCIS can be detected through regular mammograms and it can present itself as white specks called microcalcifications that can be picked up on mammograms. At this point, a woman cannot feel lump, and a woman may not have any symptoms of pain or discomfort at all. But a mammogram can well be a test that can save a woman’s life by detecting DCIS.

Answered by: Dr Esther Chuwa

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