DCIS breast cancer survivor sees hope all around her

Before starting breast cancer treatment near her home in Dallas, Brenda Scherer decided to get a second opinion at MD Anderson. Looking back, she’s glad she did. If she’d stuck with the treatment plan her local medical team had recommended, she would have had the wrong treatment and surgery. A DCIS breast cancer diagnosis A kindergarten teacher at the time, Brenda had her annual mammogram during spring break 2017. The technician noticed something unusual immediately, but Brenda wasn’t concerned. “I have dense breasts and knew I had lumps, so I wasn’t worried,” she says. A few days later, the radiologist called and reported that he’d found a suspicious spot. Brenda then had a breast biopsy. Her medical team in Dallas diagnosed her with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, often called stage 0 breast cancer. They recommended a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. At the advice of a close friend, Brenda decided to come to MD Anderson for a second opinion. She brought her mammogram and ultrasound scans with her. New imaging changes breast cancer treatment plan At MD Anderson, breast radiologist Monica Huang, M.D., noticed additional areas of concern in Brenda’s mammogram and ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed two more masses. Deanna Lane, M.D., performed a biopsy that confirmed there was more breast cancer than originally thought. Brenda then met with breast surgical oncologist Henry Kuerer M.D., Ph.D., to discuss her surgery options. Based on the new testing done at MD Anderson, Kuerer recommended a mastectomy, rather than Brenda’s original treatment plan. She would not need radiation therapy. “If I had stayed in Dallas, I would have had...