Sclerotic stroma of the Breast

Sclerosis refers to a condition of ‘hardening‘ of some kind, usually caused by an overgrowth of fibrous tissue. ‘Stroma‘ is a general term which refers to the supportive-connective tissues surrounding or within an organ, as opposed to the more ‘functional‘ elements.

This page is super short and getting a little bit out-of-date. However, because of that, I have created a newer version of this page with more up-to-date information on Sclerotic Stroma of the Breast. Note, that you can still use this one if you want.


Sclerotic stroma, then, refers to a hardening of fibrous breast tissues (collagen) but without any cancerous growth. The breast itself would typically feel ‘harder‘ by physical touch. Sclerotic stroma frequently accompanies the development of a fibroadenoma. Often, a prevailing condition of sclerotic stroma can lead to the development of a radial scar, which is thought to put women at higher risk for breast cancer development.


Sclerotic stroma may create ‘spicules‘ on a breast Xray

On mammography, spicules may be visible as a result of benign causes such as fibrous tissue buildup, lipid-filled spaces which are surrounded by histiocytes, or, by sclerotic stroma. But in malignant breast cancer lesions these spicules are more likely caused by breast tumor infiltration, periductal fibrosis, or a desmoplastic response. For this reason, mammography usually needs to be followed up by either additional imaging studies or possibly by needle biopsy, just to make sure.

For further reading, I suggest you visit this page to know about fibromatosis-like carcinoma of the breast, and go to this page which has information on breast fibroadenoma.


  1. Bharat, R., Tanuja, S., Rajan, B., Roshni, C. Fibromatosis-like carcinoma-an unusual phenotype of a metaplastic breast tumor associated with a micropapilloma. World Journal of Surgical Oncology.(2007) Vol 5, 1. p. 24.
  2. Jacobs, Timothy. Selected Challenging Breast cases for the practicing Pathologist. Dept. of Pathology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle. WA. Sept. 2008.
  3. Franquet T, De Miguel C, Cozcolluela R, Donoso L. Spiculated lesions of the breast: mammographic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. (July 1993) 13(4):841-52.
  4. Sapino, A., Bosco, M., Cassoni, P., Castellano, I., Arisio, R., Cserni, G., Dei Tos, AP., Fortunati, N., Catalano, MG., Bussolati, G., Estrogen receptor-bold italic beta is expressed in stromal cells of fibroadenoma and phyllodes tumors of the breast . Modern Pathology (2006) 19, 599–606.

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