The Role of Fibrotic Stroma Discussed at the SF Fibrosis Conference 2018

 

A lot was discussed and shared at the 2018 San Francisco conference. The main topic was the argument of whether fibrotic stroma serves as a support or a barrier in cancer, specifically in breast and lung cancer. But just what is a fibrotic stroma? Let us first know what it is, how it progresses, and why it is important to learn about this condition.

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Fibrotic Stroma Defined

Technically, the term ‘stroma’ refers to supportive and connective tissues that surround or are found within organs. When you say ‘sclerotic stroma,’ it describes a hardened and fibrous breast tissue but with no cancerous or malignant growth.

Fibrotic stroma, or stromal fibrosis, has multiple names. It can refer to fibrous mastopathy or breast disease or breast fibrosis. Currently, this diagnosis has progressed to nearly 10%. Histologically, it describes the growth of inter and intralobular tissue that continues to become dense, increases in number, but is usually benign.

Today, there is still no exact evidence of how it arises, although most studies show that it may be of estrogen-dependent origin that has initially caused the fibroblast growth. However, this has not shown to have an epithelial effect, which is also supported by the fact that the condition is found mostly in premenopausal women.

It is also believed to be a result of an involuted gland or a previously inflamed gland. There have been some reports of premenopausal women consulting their physicians about a palpable mass in their breast area. This has also become a more common diagnosis in patients who have undergone core needle biopsy.

Focal Fibrosis

Focal fibrosis of the breast, on the other hand, is typically described as a benign condition, seen as damaged or destroyed ductal and acinar structures with hypocellular tissues upon pathological exam. These findings, however, are not specific.

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It is a relief to know, though, that experiencing fibrocystic breast changes do not increase your likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer. These breast changes are not uncommon, and women often feel these lumps on their surrounding breast tissues. They may also feel breast pain during their menstrual period because of this.

 

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