Pathology dictionary

What does hyperplasia mean?

Hyperplasia is a word pathologists use to describe an increased number of cells compared to normal. Hyperplasia can only be seen when the tissue sample is examined under the microscope. Another word for hyperplasia is hyperplastic.

Types of hyperplasia

Hyperplasia can start anywhere in the body. In some parts of the body, hyperplasia is given a special name. the name may describe the types of cells normally found in that location, the shape of the tissue, or the look of the cells when examined under the microscope.

Common types of hyperplasia include:

Is hyperplasia a type of cancer?

Hyperplasia is not a type of cancer. However, some types of hyperplasia are considered a pre-cancerous condition that can turn into a cancer over time.  Pre-cancerous types of hyperplasia usually contain abnormal looking cells. Pathologists call these cells atypical.

Common types of hyperplasia with abnormal cells:

What causes hyperplasia?

The cause depends on the area of the body involved. For example, hyperplasia in the breast, endometrium, and prostate is caused by long-term exposure to hormones. In the colon, hyperplasia is caused by physical stress and pressure inside the colon.

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