What exactly is atypical hyperplasia of the breast?

Irregular Cells. Atypical hyperplasia (ah) is the term used to describe the development of abnormal cells in the breast. These cells may originate from the breast ducts (atypical ductal hyperplasia) or the lobules (atypical lobular hyperplasia). Ah is not cancer, but it increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore patients with a diagnosis of ah often require more frequent breast cancer screening.
Abnormal cells. Atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH (vasopressin)) is usually diagnosed when a biopsy of the breast has been done because of an abnormal finding on mammogram or sonogram. ADH (vasopressin) means that some of the breast cells are abnormal, but not cancerous. Women who are found to have ADH (vasopressin) are considered to be at increased risk for the future development of breast cancer and require close follow-up.

Related Questions

What is atypical hyperplasia of the breast? What symptoms do you get?

See below. Atypcal hyperplasia can be a marker of pre-cancerous changes of the breast. A person with this finding may need a surgical biopsy to remove a portion of the breast tissue to be sure all is benign, or close monitoring. There would be no symptoms from this condition, and likely no breast lump associated with it either. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/atypical-hyperplasia/ds01018\p. Read more...

How do you usually treat atypical hyperplasia in a breast biopsy?

Close observation. When atypical hyperplasia is found at the time of a nonsurgical needle biopsy, it is often recommended to remove a little more tissue with a surgical biopsy to be certain that this did not miss a cancer. Assuming only atypia is seen, this is not a pre-cancerous condition, but rather a marker for a 2-4 fold increased risk for breast cancer. Therefore, careful follow-up is recommended. Read more...
Depends . If the biopsy was a needle/core biopsy, most would surgically excise. There is a small (approximately 20%) chance of finding dcis at excision. Once excised, most patients are considered 'high risk'. These patients may benefit from chemoprevention (tamoxifen) and/or yearly mri. To further assess one's risk, they should see a breast professional. Read more...

I had surgical breast biopsy then atypical hyperplasia removal. Was this necessary? What would have happened if I hadn't intervened?

Hard to know. You apparently had a breast mass or an imaging abnormality. It was not feasible to know the nature of the lesion without removing and examination by a pathologist. If is good that it was not cancer. Read more...
Precancerous. Atypical breast hyperplasia is a pre-cancerous lesion. If a core biopsy (needle) shows ah, an excisional biopsy is usually performed, and in a small number of cases an early form of breast cancer can be discovered.I would certainly recommend vigilant screening with annual mammography and monthly self breast exams. Good luck. Read more...

What percentage of atypical hyperplasia becomes breast cancer?

None. Atypical hyperplasia is not a precancerous condition--it does not turn into cancer in any patient. However, people who have atypical hyperplasia have a 2-4 fold increased lifetime risk for developing breast cancer in either breast, regardless of which breast the atypia was found in. Read more...
Small percentage. In a recent study in the annals of surgical oncology, they looked at how many surgical excisions performed for atypical hyperplasia displayed either dcis or cancer. Out of the cases that the study reviewed, only about 1% of the cases upstaged to either dcis or cancer. Read more...