This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Phyllodes tumors of the breast are rare tumors that start in the connective (stromal) tissue of the breast. They get their name from the leaf-like pattern in which they grow (phyllodes means leaf-like in Greek). They are most common in women in their 30s and 40s, although women of any age can be affected. These tumors, which are usually painless, tend to grow quickly, but rarely spread outside of the breast. Most phyllodes tumors are benign. About 1 in 10 are cancerous. The underlying cause of these tumors in unknown. Surgery is the main treatment. Because the tumors can reoccur if they are not removed with enough surrounding tissue, the tumor and at least 1 cm of tissue should be removed. Cancerous phyllodes tumors are often treated with mastectomy. Close follow-up with frequent breast examinations are recommended after surgery.
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