Atypical hyperplasia of the breast


Atypical hyperplasia is typically identified following a biopsy conducted to assess a suspicious area detected during a clinical breast examination or through imaging tests like mammograms or ultrasounds. In the case of atypical hyperplasia diagnosis, your physician may advise surgery to extract a more extensive tissue sample for the detection of potential breast cancer. This could involve a surgical biopsy such as wide local excision or lumpectomy, aiming to remove all affected tissue. Subsequently, a pathologist examines the larger specimen to determine the presence of in situ or invasive cancer.


  • Surgical intervention: Treatment for atypical hyperplasia typically involves surgical removal of abnormal cells, ensuring the absence of in situ or invasive cancer in the area. Physicians commonly advise heightened breast cancer screening and may prescribe medications to mitigate the risk of breast cancer.
  • Follow-up tests: Your doctor may suggest various screening options for early breast cancer detection:
    • Regular self-exams for breast awareness
    • Annual clinical breast exams by healthcare providers
    • Yearly screening mammograms
    • Additional screening tests like breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or molecular breast imaging based on individual risk factors.
  • Risk reduction measures: To minimize the risk of breast cancer, consider the following recommendations from your doctor:
    • Use of preventive medications: Selective estrogen receptor modulators (e.g., tamoxifen or raloxifene) may be prescribed for five years to block estrogen’s influence on breast tissue.
    • Avoidance of menopausal hormone therapy, especially estrogen plus progestin.
    • Participation in clinical trials testing new treatments for reducing breast cancer risk associated with atypical hyperplasia.
  • Consideration of prophylactic mastectomy: For individuals with a very high risk of breast cancer, a risk-reducing mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts) may be discussed as an option. Genetic mutations or a strong family history may contribute to this decision. However, it is crucial to thoroughly discuss the risks, benefits, and personal circumstances with your doctor.
  • Genetic counseling: If there’s a strong family history of breast cancer, meeting with a genetic counselor may help assess the risk of carrying genetic mutations and the role of genetic testing.
  • Healthy lifestyle choices: Implementing healthy lifestyle habits can contribute to overall breast health:
    • Regular exercise most days of the week
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Avoiding smoking
    • Limiting alcohol intake, if choosing to consume.