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What is intraductal hyperplasia with mild cytologic atypia?

I just had a breast biopsy and don't understand what the report said.

This phrase can also be written as atypical intraductal hyperplasia. It is a type of benign breast disease. So it is not cancer. But if you have this, you do have an increased risk of getting breast cancer in the future. This is the only type of benign breast disease which is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

It means there is an over growth of mildly abnormal cells inside the ducts of the breast. Hyperplasia means that more cells than normal are actively growing. Intraductal means these cells are inside the ducts of the breasts. Atypical means the cells aren't completely like normal cells.

These cells are not cancer cells. But they are not entirely normal either. They may (or may not) develop into a cancer cell in the future. So your doctor may suggest that you have the area removed. Or they may just keep a close eye on you so that if anything further does develop, it is picked up at an early stage.

There is information about benign breast disease and cancer risk in our main breast cancer section.

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Updated: 5 September 2012