Cysts/abnormal Cells (Atypical)

Question

Asked by Lauria

Cysts/abnormal Cells (Atypical)

I am 37 years old and recently had 2 cysts drained. I recvd my results yesterday and the left breast was ok, however the right one came back with abnormal cells/atypical. I was instructed to wait 6 weeks for another u/s. Should I be worrying myself sick over this? Should I get a second opinion? B/C is not that prevalent in my family, however I am scared.

Answer

Hi - I'm assuming the report said atypical hyperplasia, which isn't cancer, but which increases your risk of developing cancer in the future. Not all AH develops into cancer, by any means; in fact, it's probably a small percentage that does. Still, it puts you and your doctor on alert that you should be more vigilant than usual as far as noticing and reporting breast changes and, when the time comes, in having regular mammograms.

I'd assume they want another ultrasound in 6 weeks so they can check to make sure nothing's changed. This is called "watchful waiting." I can't tell you not to stress over this; but I can tell you that worry accomplishes absolutely nothing. I think your best bet is to think about what options you have, at this point, and how you feel about each. You can wait, be aware of any breast changes, and see if anything ever develops. You could have the area with the atypical cells removed surgically (a lumpectomy). Or you could even have a mastectomy, which in my opinion would be super-aggressive and an over-reaction... but that's my opinion. You'll need to look hard at your own personality, and decide: am I an optimist? Am I a worrier? What will it take to relieve my stress?

Your doctor can speak to you more about these options. In the meantime - please try to relax. The odds are WAY in your favor that this will never develop into anything serious. Best of luck - PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel