I was diagnosed with this after an ultrasound and a needle biopsy. It is a very tiny area, so I have decided to monitor. I have three questions. What does monitoring involve? Go for ultrasounds every few months to make sure it's not growing? Does this condition ever reverse itself: for example could the lump simply disappear in few months, or is it likely to always be there even if it doesn't grow? What is rare hyperplasia vs. severe hyplasia. Thank you.
Dear Marjorie L., Hyperplasia means that there are more cells than normal. Epithelial hyperplasia, describes cells from the skin or lining of an structure. Atypical means that the cells are abnormal and look different from the normal type of cell they originated from. Rare hyperplasia would be a few more cells than normal, severe hyperplasia would be many more cells than normal.
Atypical hyperplasia could be looked at as a risk factor for developing cancer. We don't know if it means that atypical hyperplasia leads to cancer or that the conditions that allow atypical hyperplasia to be present also would let cancer be present.
Close follow-up is the usual recommended course of action, this is in order to find an intraductal cancer or invasive cancer at an early stage. This would include physical examination by a doctor every six months, and yearly mammograms. It might also be a good place to use ductal lavage. The duct with the atypical cells monitored every six months to find out if the hyperplasia progressed, lessened or stayed stable.
Ductal lavage involves three steps. First, gentle suction is applied to the nipple to identify which milk ducts produce droplets of fluid on the nipple surface. Next, a hair-thin microcatheter is inserted gently into the natural milk duct opening on the nipple surface. Approximately 2-4 teaspoons of sterile saline is slowly infused through the microcatheter to
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