Fibroadenomas are the most common benign (non-cancerous) solid lumps found in the breast. They usually occur in women between the ages of 15 and 35, but can also affect women of any age. In most cases, fibroadenomas do not increase the risk of breast cancer and are not associated with any other health risks. However, they can cause discomfort or pain, and may sometimes require treatment.
Fibroadenomas are made up of glandular and connective tissue, and vary in size from very small to several centimeters in diameter. They are typically round, firm, and smooth to the touch, and can move easily under the skin. In some cases, fibroadenomas may grow quickly, and multiple fibroadenomas may develop in one breast.
The exact cause of fibroadenomas is not known, but hormonal factors are thought to play a role in their development. They may also be linked to a family history of breast disorders. In rare cases, fibroadenomas may grow during pregnancy or while taking hormone replacement therapy.
Most fibroadenomas do not cause any symptoms and are often discovered during a routine breast examination or imaging test, such as a mammogram or ultrasound. However, some women may experience tenderness, pain, or changes in the size and shape of their breast. If a lump is found, further diagnostic tests may be performed to confirm the diagnosis, such as a fine needle aspiration or a core needle biopsy.
Treatment for fibroadenomas may not be necessary if the lump is small, not causing any symptoms, and does not change in size over time. In these cases, regular monitoring through clinical breast exams and imaging tests may be recommended. If a fibroadenoma is causing discomfort or is growing rapidly, it may be removed through a minimally invasive procedure called a lumpectomy. This involves removing the lump while preserving as much of the healthy breast tissue as possible.
While most fibroadenomas are not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, it is important to monitor any changes in the lump or any new breast lumps that develop. Women should also continue to adhere to regular breast cancer screening guidelines, such as monthly breast self-exams, annual clinical breast exams, and mammograms as recommended by their healthcare provider.
Overall, fibroadenomas are common, non-cancerous lumps that can develop in the breast. While they may cause discomfort or concern, they are typically benign and do not pose a significant health risk. However, any new or changing breast lumps should be evaluated by a healthcare provider to rule out the possibility of a more serious condition.