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    Fibroadenoma - breast

    Fibroadenoma of the breast is a noncancerous (benign) tumor.

    Causes

    Fibroadenoma is the most common benign tumor of the breast. Benign tumor means it is not caused by cancer. Fibroadenoma is the most common breast tumor in women under age 30.

    A fibroadenoma is made up of breast gland tissue and tissue that helps support the breast gland tissue.

    African Americanwomen tend to develop fibroadenomas more often and at an earlier age thanCaucasian women. The cause of fibroadenomas is not known.

    Symptoms

    Fibroadenomas are usually single lumps. About 10 - 15% of women have several lumps that may affect both breasts.

    Lumps may be:

    • Easily moveable under the skin
    • Firm
    • Painless
    • Rubbery

    Lumpshave smooth, well-defined borders. They may grow in size, especially during pregnancy. Fibroadenomas often get smaller after menopause (if a woman is not taking hormone therapy).

    Exams and Tests

    After a physical exam, one or both of the following tests are usually done:

    • Breast ultrasound
    • Mammogram

    A biopsy may be done to get a definite diagnosis. Different types of biopsies include:

    • Open
    • Stereotatic
    • Ultrasound (core needle)

    Women in their teens or early 20s may not need a biopsy if the lump goes away on its own or if the lump does not change over a long period.

    Treatment

    If a biopsy shows that the lump is a fibroadenoma, the lump may be left in place or removed.

    You and your surgeon can discuss whether or not to remove the lump. Reasons to have it removed include:

    • Abnormal biopsy results
    • Pain or other symptoms occur
    • Worry or concern about cancer

    If the lump is not removed, your health care provider will watch to see if it changes or grows. This may be done using

    • Mammogram
    • Physical examination
    • Ultrasound

    Sometimes, the lumpis destroyed without removing it, using freezing. This is called cryoablation.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Women with fibroadenoma have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer later in life.

    If the lump is left in place and watched carefully, it may need to be removed at a later time if it changes or grows.

    In very rare cases, the lump is cancer, and will need further treatment.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if you have a lump that you think is a fibroadenoma and it grows or changes in any way.

    References

    Katz VL, Dotters D. Breast diseases: diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant disease. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 15.

    Miltenburg DM, Speights VO Jr. Benign breast disease. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2008;35:285-300.

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              Review Date: 11/17/2012

              Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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