One of the world’s foremost experts in early-stage breast cancers, Shelley Hwang, MD, has become an international leader calling for research to guide treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), in which abnormal cells are detected in the lining of a milk duct but haven’t spread to other tissues.
DCIS is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer in the U.S. and accounts for about 20 percent of all new breast cancer cases diagnosed from mammogram screenings. But doctors are divided on how some patients with low-risk DCIS should be treated.
Hwang’s research and advocacy for a more informed approach to DCIS treatments -- which could include lumpectomy and/or ongoing surveillance instead of aggressive radiation or mastectomy -- has helped spur international discussion. She has been a voice for women who are diagnosed with DCIS to receive the best treatment available while sparing them unnecessary procedures that don’t help or may even cause harm.