Newswise — Swati Kulkarni, MD, surgical oncologist at Northwestern Medicine is available to discuss significant breast cancer prevention clinical trials taking place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 

Unique opportunities are available for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS is a pre- cancerous condition in which abnormal cells appear in the milk ducts of the breast. These abnormal areas are discovered in women when they get their annual mammograms.  A certain percentage of these women end up developing invasive breast cancer later on in life. Because of this, women who are currently diagnosed with DCIS  typically have surgery, followed by radiation, to hopefully prevent a later stage breast cancer in the future

Researchers at Northwestern want to get ahead of the game when it comes to women with a new diagnosis of DCIS. They are testing a medication that’s already on the market for treating hot flashes to determine if it could also prevent DCIS from developing into invasive breast cancer.  Postmenopausal women who participate in the trial would take this medication after they are diagnosed with DCIS and stop the medication right before they undergo surgery. Researchers will then analyze a small piece of their breast tissue and try to determine  if this medication reverses or slows the changes in the breast  that are associated with the development of invasive breast cancer. If these changes are seen, it would be incredibly exciting because it would mean that women could potentially avoid surgery and radiation for DCIS and instead, just take a single pill each day.

Dr. Kulkarni can also provide tips on how to lower your chances of getting breast cancer with a healthy diet and exercise. 


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