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Women with Benign Biopsies may still be at Risk for Cancer

July 21st 2005

Study shows women with benign biopsy may still have risk of breast cancer


Not all benign breast lumps are the same.  Most women that undergo a breast biopsy will be told their lump is benign.  Researcher in the New England Journal of Medicine compared different types of benign tissue in women.  Some benign biopsies resulted in higher risks than others.

The researchers identified 9087 women who received a benign breast disease diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic between the years 1967 and 1991.  Of the 9087 woman diagnosed with benign cells, 707 developed cancer within the next 15 years.   They compared the incidence of breast cancer with the expected incidence.  From this data the risks were estimated.

Two-thirds of the women studied had lumps made up of cells that were not growing. In this group the risk for developing breast cancer did not increase over a ten year period.


Some of the women in the study had actively growing benign cells.  Even though the cells were growing they were still considered benign.  About 4 percent of the cells were atypical and growing, but still considered benign.  These cells are important to identify because they elevate the risk of developing breast cancer.  Close monitoring is needed in these cases. 

Mammograms are the first line of detection.  The American Cancer Society recommends a mammogram once a year for women over the age of 40.  If a lump is discovered, it is important to confer with your doctor on the best course of action.  Even if the lump is benign, more frequent screening may be recommended. 

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About 1 million women in the US will be diagnosed with a benign breast disorder this year.  The vast majority of the disorders will be a benign cyst.  Earlier studies found that women at higher risk were 56 percent more likely to develop breast cancer within 15 years.  One of the primary risk factors is family history. 

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


Keywords and misspellings: canser brest mamogram benine


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM