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What is fibrocystic disease and could it turn into cancer?

I have had a history of breast lumps. 3 years ago I was told they were ductal hyperplasia with no atypia. Now my doctor says I have fibrocystic disease. What does this mean and could it turn into cancer?

You have benign breast disease, which is not cancer. Ductal hyperplasia means there is an overgrowth of cells in the breast ducts in that area of the breast. No atypia means these extra cells look completely normal.

Fibrocystic disease means benign changes in the breast. That means there is no suggestion of any cancer in the biopsies. There is just some extra fibrous tissue or hardening of the breast tissue that feels lumpy.

There is very little risk of your benign breast disease turning into cancer. There is only one benign breast condition that gives an increased risk of breast cancer and that is atypical hyperplasia. This means that there is an overgrowth of cells, but that the extra cells look abnormal, so they could be on their way to becoming cancerous.

There is information about the possible risks and causes of breast cancer in the main breast cancer section.

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Updated: 2 November 2012