Hyperplasia of the breast, also known as proliferative breast disease, is a non-cancerous breast condition that doesn’t present any obvious symptoms. The condition usually comes about due to an increase in the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts.
Types of hyperplasia
- Atypical lobular hyperplasia: When the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts increase in number, and they develop an atypical shape, then it’s known as atypical – which means the cells have shape that is not typical.
- Ductal hyperplasia of the breast: This comes about when the condition occurs in the breast ducts. It can be either atypical or usual.
Although atypical hyperplasia is non-cancerous, there are instances where it has been shown to increase the chances of developing cancer among some people.
Causes of Hyperplasia of the Breast
Common among women who are 35 years and older, hyperplasia of the breast is known to occur naturally due to breast changes brought on by age. The condition can also affect men, although it is very rare.
Common Symptoms of Hyperplasia of the Breast
Since atypical lobular hyperplasia doesn’t show any symptoms, most females might be unaware of the condition until after a routine breast exam. That said, it is important to bring any breast symptoms you might have to the attention of your breast care specialist. These symptoms might include:
- Breast pain
- Chest pain
- Pain in the armpit
- Uneven or misshapen breasts
- Pain travelling from breast to armpit
Diagnosis of Hyperplasia of the Breast
Because hyperplasia and atypical hyperplasia do not present any symptoms, they are mostly found during a breast biopsy which might have been due to another breast problem one might be having.
Treatment of Hyperplasia of the Breast
Normally usual ductal hyperplasia does not require any form of treatment. Atypical ductal hyperplasia on the other hand might need a surgical procedure to remove the hyperplasia after a definite diagnosis.
Also, a vacuum assisted excision biopsy, might be offered. This involves a process of removing the hyperplasia under local anesthesia, without having a full surgical procedure under general anesthesia.
During the procedure, a small cut is made on the skin on your breast whereby a probe, which is connected to a vacuum-like device is placed. The hyperplasia cells are then suctioned out by the vacuum through the hollow probe into a collecting chamber. The surgeon is usually guided by an ultrasound while performing the procedure. If you opt for this procedure, then surgery can be avoided.
Although vacuum assisted excision biopsy is considered minimally invasive, there might be bruising and some degree of discomfort after the procedure, which will last for a few days. This procedure might not affect the shape of the breast. Your follow-up after the procedure includes a mammogram usually after every two years.
Does Hyperplasia of the Breast Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?
Being diagnosed with any form of breast lump or breast condition can make one feel uneasy, thinking they are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Fortunately, having ‘usual ductal hyperplasia’ does not increase the risk of developing breast cancer nor does it ‘eventually turn to breast cancer’. However, with ‘atypical ductal hyperplasia’ the risk is slightly increased. To stay breast aware, you should continue with routine breast screening as usual, and if you are concerned about any changes that your breasts might have, it is recommended you visit your doctor at the earliest.
At King’s College Hospital London Dubai, our Breast Care Clinic caters to every type of breast cancer and breast conditions. If you are facing any kind of abnormal changes to your breast, regardless how small, get in touch for a consultation with one of our breast doctors. For more information on breast cancer and breast care, book an appointment below.
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