I have a few questions about Phyllodes tumors. I'm a 32 year old woman, I saw my family physician about a year ago with a small mass in my left breast, since then it has gotten much larger and I've been to a Dr. at a breast health clinic, he did a hollow core needle biopsy (which yielded no result) and then sent me for an ultrasound to determine size and shape. He phoned me this morning stating that the ultrasound confirmed it was a Phyllode (I didn't think an ultrasound could confirm the type of tumor) and he said that I needed to have it removed as soon as possible, he will set up my surgery for some time within the next two weeks. He stated that because of the size of it (about the size of a lemon - 17cm or so) the sugery will be a partial mastectomy.
During our brief phone conversation this morning my Dr. told me that this tumore is most likely benign, he says it has to come out because of its size and because it will just continue to get larger. I have read up on these types of tumors on the internet (not always the best source of accurate info, but its all I had)... I read that even though most Phyllode tumors are benign they are still classified as a type of cancer because the cells can easily turn malignent, is that true, please explain further? If the tumor is completely removed along with a margin of healthy tissue can I expect to be clear of it, or can there be future occurences, and can the future occurences turn malignent? What should I expect as a result of a partial mastectomy, my Dr. said he will try to conserve as much breast tissue as possible, but I fear I'm going to have a drastically different shape/form after this surgery. How/where would the incision be and does the breast resume a normal round shape after some has been removed or will it have a hollow section?
any info or answers are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Dear makhsc, The term phyllodes tumor includes a group of lesions of varying malignant potential ranging from completely benign (non-cancerous) to fully malignant sarcomas. The classification of phyllodes tumors are based on certain pathologic findings. On ultrasound there are certain features that would be more suspicious of phyllodes tumor but it is not possible to distinguish between benign and malignant phyllodes tumors on the basis of sonographic or mammographic findings. The usual treatment of this type of tumor is with surgery. Approximately 20% of phyllodes tumors recur locally if excised with no margin or a margin of a few millimeters of normal breast tissue, regardless of whether they are benign or malignant. A wide excision with a 2cm margin of normal breast tissue is appropriate therapy for benign and borderline phyllodes tumors unless they are so large that this is not cosmetically feasible, then a mastectomy followed by reconstruction might be recommended. Your specific questions about the surgery should be discussed with your surgeon who can give you information based on your physical examination, location of tumor, breast size etc.
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