Q&A of the Week: What is Complex Adenomatous Hyperplasia?

Pat asks: What does adenomatous complex hyperplasia mean? The doctor said the cells are normal. He told me there's a good chance it will go towards cancer.

Pat -

Here's the rundown on the terminology:

Endometrial Hyperplasia - Too much cell proliferation in the endometrium of the uterus, usually in response to "unopposed estrogen" (meaning too much estrogen in relation to progesterone).

Adenomatous - An adjective that means that the hyperplasia is occurring in glandular tissue. Most of the endometrial tissue is glandular.

Complex Hyperplasia - means that the hyperplasia has reached the point where the normal pattern of glands and other tissues has become disrupted and jumbled.

The Cells are Normal: Another way to say this is that they are without atypia, and this is the crucial distinction when figuring out whether hyperplasia is precancerous. Atypia in the endometrial cells is the main sign as to whether they are "going towards cancer".

Some researchers feel that all hyperplasia is, in a broad sense, precancerous. They have the theory that complex hyperplasia is likely to develop atypia. But this question is not settled, and, in fact, complex adenomatous hyperplasia has only around a 3% chance of becoming cancerous. It usually responds to progestin therapy.

Article: Making Sense of Hyperplasia

Another Q&A about Hyperplasia

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