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This page is super short and getting a little bit out-of-date. However, because of that, I have created a newer version of this page with more up-to-date information on Sclerotic Stroma of the Breast.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