Atypical: Cells appearing irregular from normal cells.
Lobular: Lobules are the milk producing structures.
Hyperplasia: Increased number of cells/higher growth rate of cells.
In atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH), there is an increase in atypical cells within the breast lobules. The cells lining the lobules have a faster growth rate, there are more of them and they appear irregular from normal cells. The management and recommended treatment of atypical lobular hyperplasia detected in a needle core biopsy is excision biopsy by a surgeon. This is to examine more tissue under a microscope to make sure that it is not a more worrisome cancer or pre-cancer finding. Current studies show a small percentage of these prove to be pre-cancer (DCIS: ductal carcinoma in situ) or invasive cancer.
Having atypical lobular hyperplasia adds to your personal risk factors for developing breast cancer. Discuss your specific risk factors for breast cancer with your health care provider or a genetic counselor.