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Women With Atypia Nearly Eight Times More Likely to Develop Breast Cancer

Washington, June 30 (ANI): A new study has found that women with at least three sites of cellular atypia in breast tissue are nearly eight times more likely than average women to develop breast cancer.

Several earlier studies have shown that atypical hyperplasia (also called atypia) in breast tissue is a major risk factor for breast cancer. Women who have a breast biopsy and are diagnosed with atypia are considered at high risk.

Many are adviced to consider defensive medications such as tamoxifen or other risk-reducing approaches. However, questions remained from previous research on whether a positive family history further increases risk in women with atypia and for how long the increased risk in women with atypia lasts.

The most commonly used tool for risk prediction in women with atypia is the Gail model, which may predict inaccurately because our study shows that family history does not change risk significantly in women with atypia.

Our findings indicate that women with atypia have a higher absolute risk for breast cancer than previously estimated. This risk is 25 percent over 25 years and is much higher in women with multiple areas of atypia and calcification, says Amy Degnim, M.D., a Mayo Clinic surgeon and study author.

The Gail model predicts risk by using age at commencement of menses, age at birth of first child, number of previous breast biopsies, existence of atypia, and number of close relatives with breast cancer.

While the Mayo Clinic study found that family history did not further augment risk, age at diagnosis of atypia did have an effect on risk, with younger women (under age 45) more than twice as likely to develop breast cancer compared to women diagnosed with atypia after 55.

The number of areas of atypical hyperplasia was noteworthy as well. With one area of atypia, breast cancer risk was 2.3-fold compar
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