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Cancer. 1996 Jul 15;78(2):258-66.

Subsequent breast carcinoma risk after biopsy with atypia in a breast papilloma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.



Risk of breast cancer after biopsy demonstrating a papilloma has long been variously interpreted on the basis of histologic pattern of multiplicity of papillomas.


A nested case control study was performed on women with surgical breast biopsies evidencing papillomas; cases who subsequently developed invasive carcinoma were compared with controls who did not. Presence of atypical hyperplasia (AH) within the papilloma as well as areas of AH in the surrounding parenchyma were evaluated in both cases and controls. The entire cohort (not tested) was separately evaluated for all variables except for atypia within papillomas.


The relative risk of invasive carcinoma for women with papillomas containing AH was > 4x that of papillomas without AH within or surrounding the papilloma. This risk may be greater with added atypical hyperplasia outside the papilloma and most strikingly, most of the subsequent invasive carcinomas developed in the same breast and probably near the site of the original papilloma. However, ordinary patterns of epithelial hyperplasia lacking specific features of AH within the papilloma do not add to the risk of subsequent carcinoma development over papillomas without hyperplasia.


This study indicates that women having papillomas with AH have a similar or greater cancer risk than others with specifically defined patterns of atypical hyperplasia within the breast parenchyma (4-5x relative risk). Most importantly, this risk is largely local in the region of the original papilloma.

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