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Breast lesions, pathology and cancer risk.

Although the relationship of various breast lesions and cancer risk is complex, and is compounded by the uniqueness of each patient, numerous clinical investigations have validated the implications of specific lesions and future risk. While variations in lesion cytology, histology, and molecular biology present a challenge to the clinician in determining disease risk and formulating a management strategy for individual patients, research has yielded several guidelines. These include patient variables, such as age and menopausal status, as well as information concerning the lesion itself. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has emerged as the central lesion against which others must be compared. Accurate diagnosis of DCIS is integral in determining the risk of local or regional future malignancy.

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