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Most Phyllodes tumors are benign, but 10 percent are malignant (cancerous). Cancerous Phyllodes tumors are an unusual presentation of breast cancer. These tumors are a form of sarcoma because they grow in the connective tissue of the breast, not in the ducts. This cancer is so rare that a confirmation by a second pathologist is required.
What are the symptoms of Phyllodes tumors?
These tumors will usually present as a smooth lump felt beneath the skin. The breast may become red or warm to the touch. These tumors can grow very fast, so it is important to have them evaluated as soon as possible. Symptoms can also mimic those of other types of breast cancer.
How are Phyllodes tumors diagnosed?
Same Day Results
At our Breast Center, most women can learn within 24 hours of being seen by our team of breast cancer specialists whether they have breast cancer. We follow strict guidelines for biopsies and pathology reports. Our patients will receive the probability of cancer immediately following their biopsy procedure, and a pathology confirmation usually within 24 hours.
Learn more about the steps of diagnosis, including:
What is the treatment for Phyllodes tumors?
While the tumors are most often benign, it is still critical to remove the entire tumor. Even if one cell is left behind, it will grow back. Treatment involves excision of both the tumor and a wide margin of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. For malignant (cancerous) tumors, depending on the stage and growth of the breast cancer, your physician may recommend a combination of any of the following:
- Lumpectomy – When this procedure is performed, wider margins are usually taken since leaving any remnants of the tumor can cause it to regenerate.
What is the prognosis for Phyllodes tumors?
For women with a malignant Phyllodes tumor, the prognosis depends on size, prognostic factors and other information obtained from the pathology results. Your oncologist will review this information with you.