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This page is super short and getting a little bit out-of-date. However, because of that, I have created a newer version of this page with more up-to-date information on Sclerotic Stroma of the Breast.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.
- 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.
- Jacobs, Timothy. Selected Challenging Breast cases for the practicing Pathologist. Dept. of Pathology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle. WA. Sept. 2008.
- Franquet T, De Miguel C, Cozcolluela R, Donoso L. Spiculated lesions of the breast: mammographic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. (July 1993) 13(4):841-52.
- 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.