I recently had a needle biopsy. I went back to hospital today and was told I am being referred - B4, suspicious, possibly malignant. Please can someone tell me what this means. The doctor used the words ‘atypia’ and abnormal/precancerous cells. Im still in a daze and not sure what to think, there was too much to take in. I seriously thought Id go back today being given the all clear and that my small lump would be a cyst.
Please can someone help?

Hi lkrr and welcome to the BCC forums

I am sorry to read that you have this worry, in addition to the support you will soon have here please do call our helpline for further support information and a listening ear, lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays

I am posting a link to the BCC ‘Worried’ information page which may help in the meantime:

Take care


HI lkrr

B4 is the result of a biopsy and normally means that it is precancerous type of tissue and when they remove they sometimes find DCIS B5a or invasive cancer B5b. normally a B3 and above should be removed as they can sometimes have cancer cells in the tissue.

they arent cancer but they can be associated with cancer… the most common B4 disorders are atypical ductal hyperplasia and atypical lobular hyperplasia and i think BCC do some useful booklets on these… ill see if i can find some links.

the tissue in the area biopsied is changing but hasnt turned into cancer and indeed may not turn into cancer but they usually would like to remove it to be on the safe side but after surgery you wouldnt normally need any further treatment unless they did find some actual pre-invasive or invasive cancer cells.

it is still a big shock when you werent expecting this result… but hopefully it wont be any cancer there.

hope that makes sense


the atypical hyperplasia booklet…

Thanks for your reply. I am booked in for a vacuum biopsy this week but have to wait 10 days for those results.
I am only in my late 20s and naturally worried when they used the phrase ‘suspicious possibly malignant’.
I have had the lump quite a few years and was told by my gp originally it was likely to be fatty tissue. As the lump is still there I went back to the gp last week because I wanted clarification. The lump is about 1.6cm and not round but elongated.
Its all pretty worrying and I naturally assume the worst. I guess the fact it didnt come back at B5 is more reassuring?

good luck and hope everything goes okay with the biopsy