Cystosarcoma phyllodes: worst tumor name ever.

Me:  I mean, “cystosarcoma”?  Even though it’s rarely cyst-y, and only a proper sarcoma 10% of the time?

Boyfriend:  True.  But they actually changed the name to “phyllodes tumor” because of that problem.

Me:  Okay, but that’s still a terrible name, because ‘phyllodes’ means ‘leaf’ and every tumor in pathology is supposed to look like a leaf.

Boyfriend:  Well, hold up, that’s not true –

Me:  *counting on fingers* Papillomas.  Papillary tumors.  Nests and cords.  Everything that has ever been described as “finger-like” –

Boyfriend:  Well, yeah, but this one’s different!  Okay, look:  Picture an elm leaf.

Me:  Okay.  … Wait, remind me what an elm leaf-

Boyfriend:  And a white oak leaf.  And – no, actually, just the white oak leaf, but picture the serrated edges of the elm leaf on it.  So you basically mix them together.

Me:  Err –

Boyfriend:  In 3D.

Me:  Now, wait a second –

Boyfriend:  Or, wait – you know what’s even better?  A maple leaf.   No, wait!  A silver maple leaf.  A silver maple leaf really looks like a phyllodes tumor.

Me:  … But I have to picture it in 3D, right?  And know what a silver maple leaf looks like?

Boyfriend:  Hey, wait!  You know what’s more up your alley?  I should’ve told you that a phyllodes tumor looks like an sp3 orbital!  With little spikes all over it!

Me:  Oh!  Okay.. yeah! I can picture that…

Boyfriend:  Except I guess that’s not a leaf.  Damnit.

I don’t know what’s worse:  the fact that I know more about hybridized orbitals than I do about trees, or that I still don’t think phyllodes tumors look like anything other than purple blobs.

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