Clear Cell breast metaplasia
Clear metaplasia belongs to the category of benign proliferative breast changes that can sometimes cause concern for possible breast cancer. In fact, clear cell metaplasia within breast tissues has no connotation towards breast cancer at all. ‘Metaplasia‘ means new cells have grown to replace other cells, likely do to an irritation of some kind. There has been speculation that clear cell metaplasia might be related to lactation, but there is no clear evidence to support this assertion.
I just want to let you know that I have created a newer version of this page with more up-to-date information on Clear Cell Metaplasia of the Breast. However, this page is getting a little bit out-of-date and it is also very short. You can still use it though, if you really want.
There is no relation between clear cell metaplasia and clear cell breast carcinoma
This benign cell metaplasia probably was termed ‘clear cell metaplasia‘ due to certain similarities in presentation to clear cell carcinoma, but there is no relation at all. In fact, clear cell metaplasia might better be termed ‘eccrine metaplasia‘ because of the similarities in immunohistochemical staining analysis to eccrine sweat gland cells.
No increased breast cancer risk
Clear cell metaplasia is a rare breast lesion, completely benign, and of no increased risk factor for breast cancer development other than the very low increased risk common to all women who experience genetic breast-change issues.
For further reading, I suggest you visit this page which has information on glycogen-rich clear cell carcinoma of the breast, as well as this page for sebaceous breast carcinoma.
- Barwick, K. W., M. Kashgarian, et al. (1982). Clear-cell change within duct and lobular epithelium of the human breast. Pathol Annu 17(Pt. 1): 31928.
- Guray, M., Sahin, AA., Benign Breast Diseases: Classification, Diagnosis, and Management The Oncologist, Vol. 11, No. 5, 435-449, May 2006
- Tavassoli FA, ed. Chapter 5. Benign lesions. In: Pathology of the Breast, Second Edition. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1999:115–204.
- Vina M, Wells CA. Clear cell metaplasia of the breast: a lesion showing eccrine differentiation. Histopathology 1989;15:85–92.
- Cole P, Mark Elwood J, Kaplan SD. Incidence rates and risk factors of benign breast neoplasms. Am J Epidemiol 1978;108:112–120.