Atypical Hyperplasia Or Atypia
Either atypical hyperplasia or atypia indicates the growth of abnormal cells in the breast. The diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia can be made from a core biopsy or excisional biopsy, and has been correlated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
The diagnosis of atypia can be made from nipple aspiration, ductal lavage, or fine needle aspiration , and also indicates an increased breast cancer risk. Although these cells are not yet cancerous, they do raise a woman’s risk of eventually developing breast cancer. While biopsies and FNAs are usually reserved for when there is a current indication that a woman might have breast cancer, nipple aspiration and ductal lavage are methods that may help assess a woman’s future risk of breast cancer.
What Can I Do
Be proactive. Increasing your awareness and knowledge may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Take action on your lifestyle risk factors. Know your body, watch for changes, and contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns about breast health and breast cancer prevention, early detection and screening.
Inheriting Certain Gene Changes
About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, meaning that they result directly from gene changes passed on from a parent.
BRCA1 and BRCA2: The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. In normal cells, these genes help make proteins that repair damaged DNA. Mutated versions of these genes can lead to abnormal cell growth, which can lead to cancer.
- If you have inherited a mutated copy of either gene from a parent, you have a higher risk of breast cancer.
- On average, a woman with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation has up to a 7 in 10 chance of getting breast cancer by age 80. This risk is also affected by how many other family members have had breast cancer.
- Women with one of these mutations are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age, as well as to have cancer in both breasts.
- Women with one of these gene changes also have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer and some other cancers.
- In the United States, BRCA mutations are more common in Jewish people of Ashkenazi origin than in other racial and ethnic groups, but anyone can have them.
Other genes: Other gene mutations can also lead to inherited breast cancers. These gene mutations are much less common, and most of them do not increase the risk of breast cancer as much as the BRCA genes.
Inherited mutations in several other genes have also been linked to breast cancer, but these account for only a small number of cases.
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Benign Breast Conditions Linked To A Moderate Increase In Breast Cancer Risk
Benign breast conditions known as atypical hyperplasias are linked to a moderate increase in the lifetime risk of breast cancer. However, if you are diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in any given year remains low. The actual risk of developing breast cancer over a lifetime depends on other breast cancer risk factors as well as the age you were diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia.
Hyperplasia means that there is excessive growth of breast cells that are also atypical, meaning they have some, but not all, of the features of carcinoma in situ . These cells arent cancer but they arent completely normal either. Sometimes they are also called neoplasias.
Thanks to the increased use of mammography screening, atypical hyperplasias are being diagnosed more often than ever before. An abnormal finding through screening would lead to biopsy and examination of the tissue.
If youre diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, keep in mind that these conditions are not breast cancer. They also dont mean you will develop breast cancer one day. Instead, these conditions suggest a potential for moderate increased risk in both breasts, not just the breast where the cell changes were found. They give you good reason to pay closer attention to your breast health and perhaps work with a breast specialist. However, most women with atypical hyperplasias will never get breast cancer.
There are two main types of atypical hyperplasia:
Abortion And Breast Cancer Risk
Abortion is an issue that can bring out strong feelings in people. These feelings are often linked to personal, religious, and political views that may have little to do with any connection to a disease like cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women , and its the second leading cancer killer in women. Because it can be a deadly disease, its one that many women fear.
Linking these topics creates a great deal of emotion and debate. But scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer.
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Research Studies On Abortion And Breast Cancer
Researchers have looked at the possible link between abortion and breast cancer for many years, but this has been a difficult area to study.
The most reliable way to know if something causes cancer would be to do a randomized study. This means that you would take a large number of people, expose half of them to the thing that could cause cancer , and dont expose the other half to the possible carcinogen. Whether someone is in the exposed or non-exposed group would be chosen at random. As long as the 2 groups were similar to start with in terms of risk factors for cancer, any difference in cancer risk between the 2 groups would likely be because of being exposed to the possible carcinogen. Of course, it isnt practical or ethical to study the effects of many things on cancer risk with this kind of study. This is especially true for effects of abortion.
Instead, to look at the effects of abortion on cancer risk, we have to use observational studies. These kinds of studies gather information about the people in them, often by asking questions or looking at medical records. Then the researchers try to see if certain factors are linked to certain outcomes.
Not Being Physically Active
Evidence is growing that regular physical activity reduces breast cancer risk, especially in women past menopause. The main question is how much activity is needed. Some studies have found that even as little as a couple of hours a week might be helpful, although more seems to be better.
Exactly how physical activity might reduce breast cancer risk isnt clear, but it may be due to its effects on body weight, inflammation, and hormone levels.
The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week . Getting to or going over the upper limit of 300 minutes is ideal.
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Having Certain Benign Breast Conditions
Women diagnosed with certain types of benign breast conditions may have a higher risk of breast cancer. Some of these conditions are more closely linked to breast cancer risk than others. Doctors often divide benign breast conditions into different groups, depending on how they affect this risk.
Non-proliferative lesions: These conditions dont seem to affect breast cancer risk, or if they do, the increase in risk is very small. They include:
- Fibrosis and/or simple cysts
- Mild hyperplasia
- Epithelial-related calcifications
- Other tumors
Mastitis is not a tumor and does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
Proliferative lesions without atypia : In these conditions theres excessive growth of cells in the ducts or lobules of the breast, but the cells don’t look very abnormal. These conditions seem to raise a womans risk of breast cancer slightly. They include:
- Usual ductal hyperplasia
- Several papillomas
- Radial scar
Proliferative lesions with atypia: In these conditions, the cells in the ducts or lobules of the breast tissue grow excessively, and some of them no longer look normal. These types of lesions include:
Breast cancer risk is about 4 to 5 times higher than normal in women with these changes. If a woman also has a family history of breast cancer and either hyperplasia or atypical hyperplasia, she has an even higher risk of breast cancer.
Lobular carcinoma in situ
What Other Cancers Are Linked To Harmful Variants In Brca1 And Brca2
Harmful variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of several additional cancers. In women, these include fallopian tube cancer and primary peritoneal cancer , both of which start in the same cells as the most common type of ovarian cancer. Men with BRCA2 variants, and to a lesser extent BRCA1 variants, are also at increased risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer . Both men and women with harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants are at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, although the risk increase is low .
In addition, certain variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2 can cause subtypes of Fanconi anemia, a rare syndrome that is associated with childhood solid tumors and development of acute myeloid leukemia . The mutations that cause these Fanconi anemia subtypes have a milder effect on protein function than the mutations that cause breast and ovarian cancer. Children who inherit one of these variants from each parent will develop Fanconi anemia.
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Understanding Your Risk For Breast Cancer
Breast cancer statistics say it’s the most common cancer in young adults ages 15 to 39. Every year in the U.S. alone more than 12,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in adults under age 40. All young adults should be vigilant about their breast health. The information on this page will help you better understand breast cancer risk factors, manage your health, and connect to others at high risk.
Personal History Of Early Breast Cancer
Women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing cancer in their other breast.
There are also a number of non-invasive breast conditions that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These include ductal carcinoma in situ , lobular carcinoma in situ and atypical ductal hyperplasia .
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Your Race And Ethnicity
White and Black women have the highest risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latina womens breast cancer rates fall in between two major groupings while American Indian and Alaska Native women are on the lowest end of risk.
While white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than Black women overall, they tend to be diagnosed at an older age . Black women have the highest breast cancer rates among women under age 40. Black women make up a higher percentage of triple-negative breast cancer cases.
What to do: If your race or ethnicity places you at higher risk, make sure you follow all screening recommendations to improve your chances of catching cancer early.
Family History And Inherited Genes
Some people have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general population because other members of their family have had particular cancers. This is called a family history of cancer.
Having a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer increases the risk of breast cancer. This risk is higher when more close relatives have breast cancer, or if a relative developed breast cancer under the age of 50. But most women who have a close relative with breast cancer will never develop it.
Some people have an increased risk of breast cancer because they have an inherited gene fault. We know about several gene faults that can increase breast cancer risk and there are tests for some of them. Having one of these faulty genes means that you are more likely to get breast cancer than someone who doesnt. But it is not a certainty.
Two of these faulty genes are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These are not common. Only about 2 out of every hundred of breast cancers are related to a change in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Ionising radiation includes tests such as x-rays and CT scans and treatment such as radiotherapy.
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How Common Is Breast Cancer In Canada
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women. Each year, more than 22,000 women develop breast cancer in Canada and more than 5,000 women die of the disease. Based on current rates, one in nine women in Canada is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
The risk of getting breast cancer goes up as women get older. The risk of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years is as follows:
- 13 out of 1,000 women in their 40s
- 23 out of 1,000 women in their 50s
- 29 out of 1,000 women in their 60s
- 31 out of 1,000 women in their 70s
Since 1999, the rate of new cases of breast cancer has stabilized, and death rates have steadily declined.
Risk Factors For Metastatic Breast Cancer
Any type of breast cancer can metastasize. It is not possible to predict which breast cancers will metastasize. Whether metastasis happens depends on several factors, including:
- The type of breast cancer, such as hormone receptor-positive and/or HER2-positive, or triple-negative breast cancer .
- How the cancer grows. For example, is it a faster growing cancer or a slower growing cancer?
- The stage of the cancer when first diagnosed, including the tumor size and whether cancer was found in nearby lymph nodes.
There is no proven way to completely avoid developing metastatic breast cancer. Research continues to evaluate why metastatic breast cancer occurs and how to prevent, slow, or stop the growth of metastatic cells.
The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what body changes or medical problems metastatic breast cancer can cause. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
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How Might Hormone Levels Affect Breast Cancer Risk
A womans risk for some types of breast cancer is related to levels of certain hormones in the body. Breast cells normally grow and divide in response to hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Levels of these hormones change throughout a womans life.
Breast cancer risk can be affected by a number of things that alter these hormone levels. For example, women who have more menstrual periods over their lifetime have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. The use of some types of hormones can also increase breast cancer risk slightly . On the other hand, breastfeeding might lower breast cancer risk slightly.
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer occurs when a normal cell in the breast becomes abnormal and begins to grow out of control. The cancer can grow into a lump in the breast and can eventually spread to other places in the body such as the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. Breast cancer most often affects women, yet can also be diagnosed in men.
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Risk Factors For Cancer
Risk Factors for Cancer | Did You Know?
Age, weight, exposure to carcinogens, and genetics can increase the risk of developing cancer. Learn more from this Did You Know? video produced by NCI’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.
It is usually not possible to know exactly why one person develops cancer and another doesnt. But research has shown that certain risk factors may increase a persons chances of developing cancer.
Cancer risk factors include exposure to chemicals or other substances, as well as certain behaviors. They also include things people cannot control, like age and family history. A family history of certain cancers can be a sign of a possible inherited cancer syndrome.
Most cancer risk factors are initially identified in epidemiology studies. In these studies, scientists look at large groups of people and compare those who develop cancer with those who dont. These studies may show that the people who develop cancer are more or less likely to behave in certain ways or to be exposed to certain substances than those who do not develop cancer.
Such studies, on their own, cannot prove that a behavior or substance causes cancer. For example, the finding could be a result of chance, or the true risk factor could be something other than the suspected risk factor. But findings of this type sometimes get attention in the media, and this can lead to wrong ideas about how cancer starts and spreads.
Light Exposure At Night
The results of several studies suggest that women who work at night factory workers, doctors, nurses, and police officers, for example have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who work during the day. Other research suggests that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night have a higher risk of breast cancer.
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How Much Does An Inherited Harmful Variant In Brca1 Or Brca2 Increase A Womans Risk Of Breast And Ovarian Cancer
A womans lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is markedly increased if she inherits a harmful variant in BRCA1 or BRCA2, but the degree of increase varies depending on the mutation.
Breast cancer: About 13% of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives . By contrast, 55%72% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 variant and 45%69% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 variant will develop breast cancer by 7080 years of age . The risk for any one woman depends on a number of factors, some of which have not been fully characterized.
Like women with breast cancer in general, those with harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 variants also have an increased risk of developing cancer in the opposite breast in the years following a breast cancer diagnosis . The risk of contralateral breast cancer increases with the time since a first breast cancer, reaching 20%30% at 10 years of follow-up and 40%50% at 20 years, depending on the gene involved.
Ovarian cancer: About 1.2% of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer sometime during their lives . By contrast, 39%44% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 variant and 11%17% of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 variant will develop ovarian cancer by 7080 years of age .