Accounting for approximately one percent of all breast cancers in women between the ages of forty and fifty years old, with very few cases known to have existed in adolescent girls, Phyllodes tumors are large, firm, fast growing, non-tender, palpable masses, with smooth, sharply demarcated textures, that favors the left breast, and are categorized by the National Cancer Institute as a tumor subtype, not a typical cancer.
Commonly located in immune cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts that interact with tumor cells in cancer growth and progression, loose connective tissue stromal cells are most often found in the endometrium, prostate, bone marrow, ovaries, and hemopoietic systems of the blood..
Borderline, Benign, or Malignant:
Phyllodes tumors contain epithelial and stromal cell components that may be borderline, benign, or malignant based on the histologic features of the cells, stromal cellularity, infiltration at the tumor’s edge, and how mitotic cells separate their chromosomes in the cell nucleus. All Phyllodes tumors are considered breast cancer, because of their malignant potential, but about eighty percent of Phyllodes tumors are benign.
Potential side effects associated with Phyllodes tumors may include hematoma formations of blood outside the vessels, Brachial Plexes nerve injuries, and Lymphedema.
Wide local surgery is the common treatment for Phyllodes tumors. Chemotherapies, hormonal therapies, and radiation treatments appear to have very little affect on these tumors and the risks associated with metastases are related to the causes of the tumors histological grade. Lumpectomies and mastectomies may be more effective than breast-conserving surgeries in treating Phyllodes tumors.
Open surgical biopsies provide the best samples and results in the proper diagnosis of Phyllodes tumors. MRIs may also be advantagous in determining these tumors. Mammograms and ultrasounds will detect Phyllodes tumors but can not distinguish them clearly from Fibroadenomas. Needle biopsies seldom show clear diagnosis because the cells resemble carcinomas.
CAM therapies such as spiritual practices, exercises, vitamin treatments, relaxation exercises, and support groups may be additional options for women patients of Phyllodes tumors.
The medical team recommended for treating Phyllodes tumors may include Oncologists, Diagnostic Radiologists, Gynocologists, General Surgeons, and Pathologists.
The prognosis for Phyllodes tumor survivors are generally very good with low recurrence rates occurring. Borderline Phyllodes tumors may become cancerous and can metastasize if any cells remain after surgery. Malignant Phyllodes tumors can reoccur up to two years after treatments are received by the patient and may spread to the bones, liver, lungs, chest, and lymph nodes.
Previously: How Intestinal Lymphangiectasia Affects Lymph Vessels.
Next Time: Lymphedema Doctors.