In January 2010, I was completely blindsided and shocked when I was told I had DCIS, also known as “stage zero” breast cancer.
I was 44 — a healthy, happy, fit mom of two young children — with no signs or symptoms of anything wrong. I could not believe the alarming “cancer” treatments I was told were the standard protocol for treating women with a low-risk non-invasive “pre-cancerous” condition.
Thankfully I began researching and soon felt reassured by a handful of outspoken breast cancer experts, science-based studies, resources and support for a less rushed, less aggressive and less painful approach to DCIS. Sadly these voices of great wisdom were not being heard. The information was often overshadowed by mainstream media hype and a culture of fear around breast cancer, despite conclusive evidence of massive over-diagnosis and over-treatment.
I created DCIS 411 to help women world-wide receive the same information and resources I was emboldened by as well as to provide a space for emotional support and connection that I felt was missing in online DCIS support groups and forums.
From my experiences following my DCIS diagnosis, I went through an incredible life transformation. I went from being frightened, confused and anxious to feeling calm, empowered and inspired. I became an avid researcher, blogger, Certified Nutritionist, and advocate for informed decision-making and pro-active wellness practices. I felt compelled to share the wisdom I discovered and a new way forward for women to be empowered in their journeys to health, wellness and peace of mind.
It is my sincere wish that all women diagnosed with DCIS and their families take a time-out to ask important questions and create an individualized plan of action.
I am not a medical doctor and I do not give medical advice. I am a woman who cares about women diagnosed with DCIS. Since 2010, I have spent countless hours researching DCIS over-diagnosis and over-treatment. Please think of me as your friend and mentor.
Read Donna’s full story here.
Note: For Grace founder Cynthia Toussaint was diagnosed with DCIS in 2000. At that time, she was told by her oncologists that without undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and a lumpectomy she only had a few months to live. After thoroughly researching DCIS, Toussaint chose “active surveillance” – and that calcification never grew.