Small breast lumps may lead to invasive breast cancer if not treated for a long time.
Earlier the smaller lumps or lesions in the breast were not recognized microscopical screenings and hence were thought to be benign. Research now says that these, if left untreated, have a strong chance of developing into invasive breast cancer.
These lumps in the breast are called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and are now recognized as a set of disease with varying grades and extents.
Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, US, have examined women who had low-grade ductal carcinoma in situ and were diagnosed as having benign tumors after undergoing biopsy, had gone to have invasive breast cancer within 15 years after the diagnosis.
The low-grade ductal carcinoma in situ had evolved as invasive breast cancer in the same breast for 11 of the 28 women whose biopsy and health report were followed up. All the breast cancers were found in the same breast and quadrant as the biopsy site for DCIS. 5 of them had developed the cancer after 29 years of the biopsy and had died from the same.
Researchers said that low-grade ductal carcinoma in situ may be predictive of breast cancer in the same breast if remain untreated for 15 years or more.