Rethinking Breast Cancer

New detection techniques and treatments are exciting--and confusing. A guide to saving lives

Nancy Ulene, 43, wasn't particularly worried when a routine mammogram turned up something her radiologist thought was fishy. She had had a tumor seven years earlier that turned out to be benign. But this time was different. A biopsy confirmed that Ulene, the niece of former Today show medical expert Art Ulene, had ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, a growth that is variously described as either an early-stage breast cancer or a precancerous lesion. "It was very confusing," says Ulene, a color stylist for Walt Disney TV Animation. "I needed to know more."

What she soon learned was that...

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