I had a needle biopsy about 3 weeks ago and it showed abnormal/atypical cells. The surgeon suggested we have the cyst surgically removed and biopsied. The surgery was done last Thursday 10-2-03. We are still awaiting the results. All we know at this point is that what she removed was about the size of an egg. Are atypical cells serious and does the size of the cyst matter. It did not feel at all that big when I felt it. I do have dense breasts and thats what caused the radiologist concern, because she could not see what was behind the density. I am very nervous and concerned as my mother died from breast cancer. I am trying to stay on the positive side, but it is difficult. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you for having the informative site.
Dear PBREARD: Atypical cells does not mean cancer. Atypical hyperplasia may increase a person's risk of breast cancer but it is not cancer. The surgeon may have removed the cyst for several reasons: One, to hopefully make future mammograms easier to read but more importantly, to make certain that there are no other cells that would be more concerning since some atypical cells were found. The size of a cyst would have no bearing on anything - as cysts are benign.
atypical cells can be due to many things. Cancer is among them, but so are many non-cancerous conditions. When they are found in a small biopsy, it's usual that a bigger biopsy is done to be sure what's going on. The significant majority turn out to be ok. The size of what's removed has no significance in terms of guessing what it will turn out to be. In most cases of cancer, the initial biopsy shows it without question. So, the odds are your second biopsy will turn out ok. Unfortunately, you won't know for sure until the results are in.
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