Fibroadenoma is a noncancerous lump in the breast. These smooth, spherical, solid tumors are made up of a mass of fibrous and glandular tissue. Anyone at any age who has a period can develop fibroadenoma. It typically occurs in individuals aged 15 to 35.
Fibroadenomas are the most prevalent type of breast lump, characterized by their ability to move easily within the breast tissue upon palpation. They typically have a firm, smooth, and rubbery texture and can appear round or pea-like in shape. Occasionally, they may also feel flat, similar to a coin. It usually does not produce any pain.
The doctor may advise keeping an eye out for changes in its size or texture. A biopsy or surgery to remove the lump may be required. Many fibroadenomas do not require additional treatment and some may disappear on their own. Breast cancer is exceptionally uncommonly discovered in conjunction with a fibroadenoma.
Over time, some fibroadenomas may shrink. Fibroadenomas in adolescents have a tendency to reduce in size gradually over several months to years. They are known to undergo changes in shape over time and can increase in size during pregnancy, while decreasing in size after menopause. Fibroadenomas typically do not cause any pain. The following are the usual features, signs and symptoms associated with fibroadenomas:
- Smooth, slippery oval or round masses
- Firm or rubbery
- Can grow up to 2 to 3 cm in the breast tissue
- May become painful or sore before menstruation
- Painful to touch when becomes large
- Can affect one or both breasts
It is advisable to seek medical attention when any of the symptoms persist, especially if there are notable changes in the breast or lump, sudden onset of pain, newly discovered lumps, or any nipple discharge or rash. While healthy breast tissue can often have a lumpy texture, any abnormal changes should be examined by a healthcare professional to ensure proper diagnosis.
Breast lumps, including fibroadenomas, are commonly observed in individuals. The most frequently occurring benign breast lump is fibroadenoma, although its cause remains unknown. One theory suggests that it may be associated with the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle.
Fibroadenomas are more common in younger women, and they might develop during both breastfeeding and pregnancy before regressing.
Less common fibroadenomas and other related breast lumps may exhibit different characteristics compared to typical fibroadenomas. Some examples of these types of breast lumps include:
- Complex fibroadenomas: These masses must be removed. They tend to press on or displace surrounding breast tissue. They also grow over time.
- Giant fibroadenomas: These massive fibroadenomas press on or push out surrounding breast tissue. They grow more than 5 cm in size.
- Phyllodes tumors: The majority of phyllodes tumors are harmless, which means they are noncancerous. However, some may still be cancerous or could develop cancer. Most cause no pain at all. Tissues in phyllodes tumors and fibroadenomas are identical. However, phyllodes tumors differ from fibroadenomas under the microscope. Phyllodes tumors often exhibit characteristics linked with rapid growth.