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Doctors give 42-yr-old woman with 1.6 kg breast tumour new lease of life

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) In treating a complex and rare case of breast cancer, doctors have given a new lease of life to a 42-year-old female patient through a mastectomy surgery with a flap cover for removing the 22 x 18 cm dimension and 1.6 kg malignant phyllodes tumour from the patient’s right breast and successfully reconstructed it.

The phyllodes tumours are rare breast tumours that originate in the connective (stromal) tissue of the breast rather than the ducts or glands which is where most breast cancers originate. While phyllodes tumours are mostly not dangerous, a small percentage is malignant (cancer).

The patient had earlier undergone a surgery for a lump in the right breast, almost a year ago, but the lump reappeared in the same position within 6 months, necessitating further consultation. The team of experts headed by Dr Rohan Khandelwal, breast cancer surgeon, CK Birla Hospital, who on examination found the lump to be lobulated and stuck to the skin at various points. Through various diagnostic tests including biopsies, the specialists reached a clinical diagnosis of malignant phyllodes tumour.

Talking about the rise in phyllodes tumours, Dr Khandelwal said, “Every passing year reports a rise in breast cancer cases throughout the country and along with it, the prevalence of uncommon tumours. A phyllodes tumour is one such tumour, which is known for its tendency to rapidly grow and reoccur. These types of tumours can rapidly increase to large sizes but in this particular case the 1.6 kg malignant phyllodes tumour is one of the largest reported till now”.

“After thorough examination, our team conducted a mastectomy surgery in order to treat the cancer by removing all the breast tissue present inside the right breast of the patient along with which a breast reconstruction surgery was also successfully conducted for rebuilding the shape of the breast. After surgery, the patient received radiotherapy and has been asymptomatic ever since. The majority of the phyllodes tumours don’t require chemotherapy as they don’t infiltrate the lymphatic system, even if they are malignant,” he said.

He said that breast cancer apart from being hereditary, has several other risk factors like a sedentary lifestyle including binging on alcohol, smoking, increasing obesity among youngsters, stress and poor dietary intake. All these factors combined are the cause of the increase in the incidence of breast cancer especially among the younger generation under the age of 40.