Author(s): Allred DC, Mohsin SK
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Abstract Most human invasive breast cancers (IBCs) arise from preexisting benign lesions. There are many types of benign lesions in the human breast and only a few appear to have significant premalignant potential (atypical hyperplasias and in situ carcinomas). These lesions are relatively common and only a small proportion progress to IBC. They are currently defined by their histological features and their prognosis is imprecisely estimated from indirect evidence based on epidemiological studies. Although lesions within specific categories look alike, they must possess morphologically silent biological differences motivating some to remain stable and others to progress. Understanding the biological changes responsible for the development and progression of premalignant disease is a very active area of medical research. Progress in this area may provide new opportunities for breast cancer prevention by providing strategies to treat premalignant lesions before they develop or become cancerous. A large number of biological features have been evaluated in this setting during the past decade. This review discusses a few features that appear to be particularly important and have been studied in a relatively comprehensive manner.
This article was published in J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia
and referenced in Advances in Cancer Prevention