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Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia - waiting for surgery

joce Member Posts: 13
edited February 2023 in Waiting for Test Results


I am happy to have found this site and hope to learn from all of you! I am 50 years old. I was just diagnosed with atypical ductal hyperplasia from a core needle biopsy, but have been told it might be upgraded to stage 0 DCIS after results of the excision surgery (yet to be scheduled) come back. There is also other terminology on the pathology report that I am confused about like "apocrine metaplasia" and "cytologic atypia". Does anyone have experience with those on their report?

I am feeling scared and worried. I was told by the nurse that I am in a small subset of people where the tissue retrieved from the needle biopsy is not conclusive enough to know if they can tip it into being classified as cancer, but that it should come out. I was told that I may need radiation and perhaps tamoxifen too, pending the full results.

I would appreciate any support, insight, or experience from others who are on or have been on this path.

Thank you!!


  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 757

    Joce, Sorry that you have to deal with this and the anxiety it causes. Atypical ducal hyperplasia, apocrine metaplasia and cytologic atypical are three different types of benign but precancerous conditions. The excisional biopsy will remove all the cells so that they won’t become cancer. It will also be a large enough sample so they can check whether there is DCIS in the area. It’s normal to be worried but try to keep busy to distract yourself. I hope that you stay in the precancerous zone. Let us know how it turns out.

  • joce
    joce Member Posts: 13

    @maggie15, Thank you for your reply and for addressing my wonderings about some of the terminology on my pathology report. It is helpful to know that they are benign. There was also a recommendation for a breast MRI, but the surgeon who reviewed my case has now said that I don't need one. I am not sure if I should advocate to have one or not. Any thoughts? I, of course, don't want anything of concern to be missed by not having one, but I also recognize that she probably knows what she is doing ;)

    I was also messaged that the surgery scheduler will be calling me to set a surgery date. Since I don't know yet if I will need radiation, I am not sure how to time everything and how critical is it (or isn't) to ensure radiation starts during a certain time window.

    Anyway, thank you for your support!!

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 757

    Hi Joce, I'm glad to hear that they are scheduling a date for surgery. The surgeon does not feel an MRI is necessary since only the pathology done on the biopsy specimen, not what is seen on imaging, is accurate enough for diagnosis. What is found by the pathologist will determine any next steps so it's too early to be worrying about radiation. The waiting is really hard. We all want to plan ahead (a wise thing to do) but until we know what we're dealing with we can't. It's kind of like being told you are going on vacation in either July or December and you live where I do. If it's July you would plan to go to the beach or lake while if it's December you would plan to go skiing or fly to a warmer climate. Hopefully removing the precancerous cells will be the end of this, but if not you'll get support and information here. I hope the excisional biopsy goes well!