Study Finds Women With Atypical Hyperplasia Have Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

Study Finds Women With Atypical Hyperplasia Have Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
A recent study from Mayo Clinic researchers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that women who are diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia of the breast (atypia) have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Of all the annual breast biopsies preformed in the U.S., roughly 1 million will diagnose atypical hyperplasia, a precancerous condition where tumor cells start to proliferate uncontrollably and form clusters with atypical patterns. Even though these lesions are categorized as benign, they present early cancer characteristics. In this study, data gathered from hundreds of patients diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia demonstrated an annual growth of over 1% in the risk of developing breast cancer, with this risk reaching 7%, 13% and 30% after 5, 10 and 25 years, respectively. These results categorize women diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia at high risk of breast cancer development, which means they are likely to benefit from active screening and therapy to decrease this risk. “By providing better risk prediction for this group, we can tailor a woman’s clinical care to her individual level of risk,” lead study author Lynn Hartmann, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic, said in a news release. “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.” Early studies had already showed women diagnosed with this condition had a 4 to 5 times higher relative risk of developing breast cancer, when compared to women who did not present these lesions. However, what previous studies lacked was the necessary number of patients and follow
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