A precancerous lesion of the breast is a group of cells that may resemble cancer cells in appearance but may not possess the characteristics of cancer cells that allow them to penetrate the membranes of the breast from which they originated and spread to other organs.
Mostly pre-cancerous lesions become invasive if they are left untreated, however, it may take these cells quite some time to progress.
The real cause of pre-cancerous lesions of the breast is still yet unknown. Nevertheless, typical hyperplasia develops when breast cells are abnormal in number, size, shape, pattern, or appearance.
Precancerous breast lesions normally do not present any specific symptoms. Most of these cells are usually discovered during routine medical checkups either on a mammogram, ultrasound, or biopsy.
The course of treatment for the lesions may involve close observation of the patient, minor surgery, taking medication that slows the development of new tissue, or even major surgery.
Surgery: A patient might undergo a lumpectomy for DCIS tumors that are small, in which both the abnormal cells and some breast tissues are removed. In other cases an individual may choose to undergo a mastectomy in which the entire breast is removed. Breast reconstruction is often necessary after a mastectomy.
Radiation therapy: This is normally administered to the patient after a lumpectomy. The radiation reduces the chance of developing new breast cancer by targeting any abnormal cells that might have gone unnoticed.
Hormone therapy: Also known as endocrine therapy, this is a fairly effective treatment for the majority of cancers that test positive for either the ER or PR hormone receptors. Prior to surgery, hormonal therapy may also be used to shrink a tumor. This will facilitate surgery and/or reduce the risk of recurrence.
Hormone therapy: This helps lower the risk of developing invasive cancer.
Double mastectomy: Due to concerns about developing an invasive cancer, some high-risk breast cancer patients choose to have both breasts removed in a double mastectomy. Majority of women prefer to have reconstruction surgery afterwards.