What is a Fibroadenoma?
Fibroadenomas are benign (non-cancerous) tumors made of both glandular and connective tissue. They are most common in women ages 20-40 but can occur in women of any age. The cause of a fibroadenoma is unknown, however a hormonal environment may be of influence.
Diagnosis of Fibroadenomas
Sometimes a fibroadenoma may be felt. If so, it may feel rubbery, hard and smooth like a marble or firm lump. It tends to be round and have smooth borders distinct from surrounding breast tissues. Fibroadenoma is generally not painful or uncomfortable. As always, any new lump or area of firmness should be reported to the provider. Many fibroadenomas are found with breast imaging such as mammography and breast ultrasound. When this occurs most providers recommend a biopsy in order to confirm the diagnosis. The most common biopsy procedure is called Needle Biopsy, which removes small pieces of tissue from the area. It is a cosmetically kind procedure, done in an outpatient setting. The acquired tissue samples are examined under a microscope. A biopsy report is generated and will tell if it is a simple or complex fibroadenoma.
Treatment for Fibroadenomas
There are many times the fibroadenoma is left alone (i.e. if it is a small, simple fibroadenoma not causing physical or psychological pain). Over time with routine breast imaging, the fibroadenoma is observed for change in size or shape. Some fibroadenomas will shrink or disappear on their own. If a fibroadenoma is confirmed, your provider may recommend surgical removal of it. This is dependent on the size and specifics of the biopsy report. Occasionally, new fibroadenomas may develop. This does not mean that the previous has redeveloped.
Maintaining your breast health
Women who have had fibroadenomas should have routine breast exams annually. All individuals should have routine mammography after age 40 and report any new breast lumps or changes to their provider.
Key Notes on Fibroadenomas
- Normally Benign Breast Tumors
- May feel hard, firm, or rubbery
- Common in women under 40
- May require surgical removal