OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire has undergone successful surgery at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
A recent screening mammogram revealed an area of abnormality and subsequent diagnostic studies showed ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
The surgery, which was performed Thursday, shows no evidence of invasive breast cancer.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Chris Griffith and Dr. William Reus, and consisted of a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.
"The present treatment is judged complete and additional treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy will not be required," Dr. Griffith said.
He added that the "surgery was very successful and the patient's recovery is expected to be very rapid."
Gregoire went to her doctor several weeks ago for a routine physical and had no medical problems. Griffith noted that there was no evidence of an abnormality during the physical exam. "It was only apparent on a mammogram and this is quite characteristic of DCIS," he said.
"The value of screening mammography cannot be overemphasized in a case like this," Griffith said. "It would not have been detected on a clinical exam and easily could have
progressed to invasive carcinoma with significant adverse consequences in the next one to two years."
"This emphasizes the great benefit and tremendous value this screening test has for female patients," Griffith said.
"I am very fortunate this condition was identified by mammogram. My breast exam was entirely normal. I feel blessed and extremely fortunate with the results," Gregoire said.
"Needless to say, I am a strong proponent of health screening and would especially urge all women to have regular mammograms."
Other than a brief recovery period, Gregoire said the surgery will not affect her daily activities.
"I plan to press on, just as many women have done before me," she said.
Just days before her DCIS diagnosis, Gregoire agreed to participate in a Capital Medical Center and American Cancer Society ad campaign to promote cancer screening. The ad says "mammograms save lives, please schedule yours today."
"I now think I can personally attest to the truth of that ad," Gregoire said.