Fibroadenoma leafy - when the chest hurts: symptoms and treatment

Fibroadenoma leaf-like is a rare breast tumor that belongs to the group of potentially dangerous neoplasms due to the high risk of switching to sarcoma (breast cancer).

In most cases, the tumor in the early stages is well treatable, but requires mandatory surgery and follow-up. This article is devoted to the causes, symptoms, methods of diagnostics of leaf-shaped fibroadenoma.

Fibroidadoma: causes


Leaf-like fibroadenoma (phyloid tumor) - belongs to the category of benign neoplasms of the breast, but requires special attention: in about 5% of cases over time, this new formation turns into a malignant form - sarcoma (breast cancer glands).

The tumor is diagnosed in women of all ages, regardless of their health status. But since the main cause of the disease is the hormonal imbalance of the body, in a group of special risk are:

  • adolescent girls during puberty - 12-20 years;
  • women during the onset of menopause - after 45 years.

Other factors, indirectly provoking the emergence and growth of the tumor, include estrogen-dependent conditions and metabolic disorders:

  • pregnancy and lactation;
  • overweight;
  • use of hormonal contraceptives;
  • diseases of the thyroid gland, liver, diabetes mellitus;
  • diagnosed uterine or ovarian fibroadenoma%
  • later onset of menopause (after 55 years);
  • early menarche (up to 12 years);
  • unrealized reproductive function;
  • frequent abortions, miscarriages.


Phylloid fibroadenoma develops in the stroma of the mammary glands - connective and adipose tissue: ligaments, ducts, lobules, blood and lymphatic vessels.

For the leaf-shaped tumor is characterized by initially slow development (5-10 years) with subsequent significant acceleration of growth: in a few months it can reach a giant size.

The average tumor size is 5-9 centimeters, maximum - 45 cm. The structure of the neoplasm consists of several layers, outwardly resembling lobules or "leaves." A leafy tumor can occur in one or both mammary glands at the same time.

Symptoms of the disease include:

  • The presence of single or multiple nodules in the area of ​​the mammary gland found during palpation. More often a tumor of small sizes is diagnosed in the upper part of the breast, less often a progressive neoplasm can cover the entire mammary gland.
  • Change in the color of the skin on the affected area of ​​the tumor - the skin becomes thinner, gets cyanotic a shade with a distinctly prominent venous network, in severe stages, small abscesses form and ulceration.
  • Pain when pressed on the chest.
  • Discharge from the nipple.
  • With progressive growth - deterioration of general health, weakness, extremely rare - fever, fever, chills.

Unlike other benign species, the characteristic feature of the nodes in leaf-shaped form is their "splicing" with the skin, similar to the case with cancer tumors - carcinoma and sarcoma.

Important! Since tumor growth can occur unnoticed for a woman for many years, the symptoms of the disease can also be mild or completely absent for a long time. Self-diagnosis of the presence of neoplasm in the home is almost impossible.

Medical diagnostics

The main problem of diagnosing the tumor is its latent flow and similarity with other types of fibroadenoma. Detection of seals, other suspicious symptoms requires immediate medical attention.

A doctor mammologist, the diagnosis is performed in several stages:

  • External examination of the condition of the mammary glands and collection of family history.
  • Biochemical blood test, hormone analysis.
  • Conduction of mammography.
  • Ultrasound examination of the mammary gland - to exclude the presence of cysts and to confirm the diagnosis;
  • MRI - magnetic resonance imaging - in case of penetration of the tumor into other tissues and organs.
  • A biopsy (puncture) followed by a histological examination of the material is the most accurate method of determining the nature of the neoplasm (benign, malignant or borderline) and the stage of defeat tissues.


Independently to decrease or, especially, to "resolve" this kind of a tumor can not under any circumstances. Methods of radiation and hormone therapy are also ineffective and not recommended.

The only way to treat is surgical intervention, which is carried out by methods:

  • Ablation is the removal of fibroadenoma by a laser, in which a tumor is destroyed at the cellular level by a powerful beam of light energy.
  • Cryoablation - the destruction of the tumor through extremely low temperatures of liquid nitrogen. In Russia, this high-tech and low-traumatic method is practically not used, but it is widely used in Western Europe and the USA, Israel.
  • Enucleation is a minimally invasive tumor removal through its excision through a small incision in the neoplasm zone. Characterized by a short period of recovery, the absence of visible postoperative scars. A few months later, a new connective tissue forms on the site of the tumor.
  • Lamectomy - removal of the tumor with a minimum number of adjacent healthy tissues. The operation is possible only with small dimensions of the affected area.
  • Sectoral resection is an organ-preserving operation in which fibroadenoma is removed with a part of the mammary gland. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. From disadvantages - often after surgery there is a strong deformation of the form of the breast, requiring cosmetic correction.
  • Subcutaneous or radical mastectomy (complete removal of the breast) - is extremely rare, only in cases of a large tumor size and its malignant nature.

Phylloid fibroadenoma almost never spreads to the axillary lymph nodes, so their removal is not shown and is not performed.

Fibroidadoma leaf during pregnancy

One of the most exciting moments for many women is the question of the effect of fibroadenoma leaf-like type on the course of pregnancy and fetal development.

By itself fibroadenoma is not a contraindication to pregnancy, does not have a negative effect on the fetus.

But under the influence of increased production of estrogens, the chance of its rapid progressive growth increases. Fibroidadenoma can interfere with breastfeeding: create a threat of lactostasis (milk stagnation) and mastitis (inflammation of the breast).

For these reasons, women who have a history of a leaf-like tumor of even a small size, are shown to remove it during pregnancy planning.

Postoperative control

Leafy tumors are dangerous with a high probability of recurrence and relapse: patients with previously diagnosed tumors, continuous monitoring by a mammologist is recommended, especially during the first two to three years after removal fibroadenomas.

During the recovery period, you must:

  • call for consultation with a doctor endocrinologist - in order to exclude hormonal pathologies that caused the primary appearance of the tumor;
  • external examination of the breast by a doctor mammologist - at least twice a year;
  • at least once a year - conducting mammography and ultrasound.
  • MRI - if there is a suspected presence of metastases, lesions of other organs.

The general recommendations of the postoperative period include: the introduction of a proper diet, refusal from smoking and alcohol, moderate sports loads, balanced working hours and recreation.

Leaf-like fibroadenoma is a serious disease affecting the mammary gland of a woman. Without proper treatment, under the influence of provoking factors, the tumor can dramatically increase in size, cause physical and psychological discomfort, develop into a deadly malignant form - sarcoma of milk glands. Therefore, the most effective method of treatment of a neoplasm is its surgical removal by a minimally invasive method with subsequent medical supervision.