When your breast was biopsied, the samples taken were studied under the microscope by a specialized doctor with many years of training called a pathologist. The pathologist sends your doctor a report that gives a diagnosis for each sample taken. Information in this report will be used to help manage your care. The questions and answers that follow are meant to help you understand medical language you might find in the pathology report from a biopsy, such as a needle biopsy or an excision biopsy.
Hyperplasia is a term used when there is an abnormal pattern of growth of cells within the ducts and/or lobules of the breast that is not cancerous. Some growths look more abnormal, and may be called atypical hyperplasia.
Carcinoma is a term used to describe a cancer that begins in the lining layer (epithelial cells) of organs like the breast. Nearly all breast cancers are carcinomas. Most are the type of carcinoma that starts in glandular tissue called adenocarcinoma.