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Seemingly Benign Breast Masses May Pose Greater Risk for Breast Cancer Than Previously Thought

According to reports in The New England Journal of Medicine and from researchers at Vanderbilt University, seemingly benign masses found in the breast tissue of women poses a greater risk of cancer than previously thought. The type of mass is identified as atypical hyperplasia, or atypia. The condition is not a cancer but is an accumulation of abnormal cells. About 100,000 women in the United States are found to have one of these masses each year.

About one in every ten women who have a breast biopsy have atypia. Despite the condition, women are usually told that the mass is benign even though the condition can be a forerunner to cancer. Researchers believe that women with atypia have a seven percent risk of developing a tumor within five years after the biopsy. Previously, doctors may have told these women that they have an above-average risk of developing cancer. The new information helps to quantify the risk and may lead to more aggressive treatment of women with atypical hyperplasia.

A chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society said that women with atypia should probably be getting an MRI instead of a conventional mammogram. Researchers recommend that women who are told they have “some early abnormal cells” or some that are benign should ask their doctor about their options, and doctors should inform women properly of the potential risks of these breast masses.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Early detection of breast cancer is vital and saves lives. A misdiagnosis or delayed cancer diagnosis could have serious, even deadly, results. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a failure to diagnosis cancer or a delayed cancer diagnosis, you should contact a medical negligence lawyer to discuss your legal options. There is no cost or obligation for an initial consultation with a Lopez McHugh attorney and your information will be kept confidential. Contact Lopez McHugh, LLP today for a free case evaluation.