Atypical Hyperplasia

1 What is Atypical Hyperplasia of the Breast?

Atypical hyperplasia of the breast is a benign condition characterized by accumulation of rapidly dividing abnormal cells of the breast.

It is a precancerous condition that indicate an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Continuous division of the hyperplasia cells may lead to the transition of the condition into noninvasive or invasive breast cancer.

The accumulation of the cells may happen in the ducts or the lobules of the breast.

This benign condition is diagnosed by mammogram or biopsy.

Surgical removal of the hyperplasia is recommended in the treatment of abnormal cell growth in the breast. 

2 Symptoms

There are no specific symptoms for atypical hyperplasia of the breast.

It is often diagnosed through a routine mammogram or breast biopsy

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3 Causes

The actual cause of atypical hyperplasia of the breast is not known.

The breast cells rapidly increase in number and show a change in

  • shape,
  • size,
  • growth pattern
  • appearance.

In atypical ductal hyperplasia, the accumulated cells resemble the ductal cells of breast. In atypical lobular hyperplasia, the accumulated cells resemble that of breast lobules.

Atypical hyperplasia of the breast is considered to be a precancerous condition in which the accumulated cells transform into cancerous cells.

It passes through different stages before developing into breast cancer.

Hyperplasia is the first phase in which the growth and development of the breast cells are disrupted. Hyperplasia results in excessive production of breast cells.

In the next phase, called atypical hyperplasia, these cells accumulate and start changing in size, shape, and appearance. In this stage, the cells develop some of the characteristics of cancerous cells.

When the cell accumulation continues, with many changes in size and appearance, coupled with rapid multiplication, it develops into in situ, or non-invasive, cancer. In this phase the cells are confined to one place and multiply in the same place.

When appropriated treatment is not extended, these abnormal cells may start invading nearby tissues, blood vessels, and lymph.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Atypical hyperplasia of the breast is usually based on breast biopsy, which is often performed to check for an abnormality found in the mammogram.

In a biopsy, small sample of tissue is removed from breast and analyzed by pathologist. 

5 Treatment

Treatment of Atypical Hyperplasia of the Breast is done by several methods.

The abnormal cells are removed by surgery. Care is taken to ensure that no more cells of in situ or invasive cancer cells are left in the area. Screening test for breast cancer is recommended for early detection and treatment of cancer. Risk of breast cancer is reduced by preventive medications and mastectomy.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators are commonly used as preventive medications to reduce the risk of cancer. These medications block estrogen molecules, which trigger cancerous growth, from binding to estrogen receptors.

Tamoxifen is recommended for premenopausal women, while aromatase inhibitors are suggested for menopausal women.

Menopausal hormone therapy using a combination of estrogen and progestin, is usually avoided as it increases the risk of breast cancer.

Mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both breasts to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Genetic mutation and a family history of breast cancer are major risk factors for this cancer.

6 Prevention

There are no standard preventive measures for atypical hyperplasia of the breast as the actual cause of the disease is not known. 

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

A few alternative and homeopathic remedies are used for Atypical hyperplasia of the breast.

Close follow up is the best treatment for atypical hyperplasia of breast.

  • Conium,
  • scirrhinum,
  • phytolacca,
  • pulsatilla nigricans,
  • sepia

are suggested in the prevention of breast cancer.

Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D and magnesium in diet is a natural way to prevent cancer

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with Atypical hyperplasia of the breast.

Understanding the risk of breast cancer is the first step in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Ensure to go for all follow-up visits if there is hyperplasia of breast.

Healthy lifestyle is important to improve overall health.

Talk to other women with the same condition and be a part of the support group to cope with the condition. 

9 Risk and Complications

Increased risk of breast cancer is the main complication associated with atypical hyperplasia of the breast. 

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