If your doctor has said that you have a Fibroadenoma, please don’t panic. These are non-cancerous or benign lesions that form in the breast. It is especially common among pre-menopausal women. Some describe it as a palpable lump in the breast that feels hard. Others describe it as rubbery, smooth, or firm. It can feel like a grape or pea.
What causes a fibroadenoma?
Fibroadenoma is painless, and they move around under the skin, which often adds to the panic one feels after hearing the diagnosis. Such a lesion forms when the tissue surrounding the lobules (milk production glands) grows over them. That leads to the formation of a lump or a benign breast tumor.
Is a fibroadenoma cancerous?
Yes! We used the word “tumor,” but not all tumors are cancer. Fibroadenoma is common among pre-menopausal women, but you can also hear about women in their 20s who have had a fibroadenoma. The chances of this type of lesion turning into a tumor are next to nil.
What are the different types of Fibroadenoma?
Hormones in your body can influence the growth of the lesions. One of the telltale signs of a fibroadenoma is its fluctuating size during the menstrual cycle, or breastfeeding or pregnancy.
- Simple fibroadenoma – A fibroadenoma can be smaller than 1 cm or larger than a couple of centimeters in diameter.
- Complex fibroadenoma – You may have one unusual growth or group of lesions that grow together in clusters. It slightly increases the risk of developing cancer in the future.
- Juvenile or giant fibroadenoma – They can grow larger than 5 cm in diameter. Juvenile Fibroadenoma are common among teenage girls.
What tests can diagnose a fibroadenoma?
In case you have found a lump in your breast during self-examination or your GP has detected one, you will have to go through a range of tests, including –
- An ultrasound scan (USG) – This test uses sound waves to create an image of the tissues comprising the lump.
- A mammogram – It is a breast x-ray.
- Core biopsy – A biopsy is the study of tissue composition under a microscope.
- Fine needle aspiration (FNA) – Is the retrieval of sample cells using a fine needle for studying under the microscope.
Women under 40-years are more likely to have a USG rather than a mammogram. Younger women do not need the entire range of tests. Only USG and a breast examination are enough to identify a fibroadenoma.
Does a fibroadenoma call for surgery?
Complex Fibroadenoma have a minute risk of turning malignant later in life. An excision biopsy might be required to remove a larger and more complex fibroadenoma. The surgery requires only a general anesthetic and bears minimal to no risk at all.
For the majority of women, a fibroadenoma does not lead to cancer. It is imperative to be breast-aware to lead a healthy and happy life. If you have felt a lump in your breast during self-examination, do not assume that it is a fibroadenoma because you fit the profile. Visit your physician or the nearest breast care center soon.