Diagnosis of “Minimally Invasive” Breast Cancer in Sheryl Crow a Mystery
Although none of the editors of Insidesurgery.com are participating in the care of Sheryl Crow we have seen and treated many cases of breast cancer. Her reported diagnosis of minimally invasive breast cancer is a confusing one. For surgeons who take care of this disease there is no such thing
as “minimally invasive” breast cancer. It is either invasive or it is not.
The two main types of breast cancer are classified on the type of cells in the breast that become cancerous. These are lobular carcinoma and the far more common ductal carcinoma. For both types, the disease is further classified as invasive or in-situ.
For example, in ductal carcinoma the malignant changes occur in the cells lining the milk ducts. If the involved cells are still within the ducts, this is called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and is in the pre-invasive stage. If the cancerous cells have penetrated the duct walls and are now in the breast fat this is called invasive ductal carcinoma.
Based on the news reports that Crow will be receiving only radiation and no chemotherapy and that her prognosis is excellent, one can surmise that she may have ductal carcinoma in situ. Generally, women who have the invasive form and are pre-menopausal are referred for chemotherapy. This is regardless of whether the lymph nodes are involved.
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