Supermodel Janice Dickinson has revealed that she is battling breast cancer. The 61-year-old disclosed that a pea-sized lump was found during a routine medical exam. The lump hurt and hence further tests were carried out. A mammogram and biopsy revealed that the former model has Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS).
In an interview with Daily Mail, Dickinson said that she feels like she is a part of a nightmare ever since the diagnosis on March 12. “Just two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s hard for me to say this, but I have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said. “It’s still quite shocking. Today I got very scared … I just get very scared and it hit me. But I am not gonna let that define me, the fear. I’m going to get through this, I’ll be just fine kiddo,” she added bravely.
Dickinson now visits UCLA almost daily for blood tests, specialised mammograms and electrocardiogram. According to Page Six, Dickinson has three lymph nodes and she will now have an inch of tissue area from around the lump tested to see if the cancer has reached the outer edges. Based on the results, she will have to undergo radiation therapy on the cancerous cells and take a course of medication.
“I had to find the courage I possess as a woman, that we all have as women and then I had to put my chin up and my shoulders back and take it moment by moment,” she explained of her ordeal. “Don’t feel sorry for me, this is not a pity party. I’m Janice Dickinson and I’m gonna stick around for a long, long time, you ain’t getting rid of me yet,” she added.
We wish Janice Dickinson a speedy recovery. In the meantime, here are a few facts about DCIS:
- According to Breastcancer.org, DCIS is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer.
- According to Cancer Australia, patients suffering from DCIS do not die.
- It is non-invasive because the abnormal/cancer cells are in the milk ducts and have not spread yet.
- DCIS can progress into invasive cancer eventually.
- Cancer Australia states that approximately 1,200 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year in Australia.
- While DCIS has no symptoms as such, women who notice a lump in the breast or some nipple discharge should immediately contact their GP for further exam.
- Mammograms are helpful in detecting many DCIS cases. Cancer Australia states that mammograms which show flecks of calcium (called microcalcifications) is an indication of DCIS.
- While all DCIS is stage zero breast cancer, it can still be any size and located in multiple areas.
- According to Cancer.org, treatment can involve a breast-conserving surgery or a simple mastectomy, followed by radiation therapy.
- With DCIS, there are chances of recurrence within 5–10 years of initial diagnosis.