Atypical hyperplasia is associated with increased breast cancer risk, and consequently, women should be educated regarding their risk of developing breast cancer and the potential risk reduction associated with chemoprevention, according to a New England Journal of Medicine special report.
Atypical hyperplasia of the breast is a precancerous condition wherein the breast cells that are beginning to grow out of control (hyperplasia) and cluster into abnormal patterns (atypical). Although atypia lesions are considered benign, yet the risk associated with it appearance and genetic changes largely show some of the early features of cancer.
Lynn Hartmann is an oncologist at Mayo Clinic and the lead author of this study that followed 698 women. All the women had atypical hyperplasia and had been biopsied at Mayo Clinic between 1967 and 2001. The team observed that after five years, around 7% of these women had developed the disease. After 10 years, this number went up to 13% and 30% of them had breast cancer after 25 years.
Amy Degnim, a breast surgeon at Mayo Clinic and co-lead author of this study, said, “We need to do more for this population of women who are at higher risk, such as providing the option of MRI screenings in addition to mammograms and encouraging consideration of anti-estrogen therapies that could reduce their risk of developing cancer“.
Experts since long have always known that atypical hyperplasia increases the risk of breast cancer but this new finding surely gives women with this condition more solid information about the extent of the risk associated.
Robert Smith, director of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society, reviewed the findings of this study and stated that the study provides a new dimension to doctors in breast cancer cases.
Sources and more information
- Atypical Hyperplasia of the Breast — Risk Assessment and Management Options, New England Journal of Medicine, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsr1407164, January 1, 2015.
- Risk of breast cancer increases with atypical hyperplasia, newsmaine, Jan 01, 2015.
- Women with Atypical Hyperplasia are at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer,
mayoclinic, Dec 31, 2014.
- Suspicious breast mass may pose greater risk than previously thought,
reuters, Dec 31, 2014.