If you have found a lump in your breast during a self-exam, or a suspicious mass was found during a mammogram, don’t panic. The lump may a non-cancerous fibroadenoma.
A fibroadenoma is a fairly common medical occurrence among women who are experiencing significant hormone fluctuations, either during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. It is a non-cancerous tumor or mass, which generally doesn’t grow larger than several millimeters or spread outside of breast tissue.
What Causes Fibroadenoma?
Although fibroadenoma growth tends to occur during particular stages of life, the specific cause of all fibroadenomas isn’t precisely known. They may occur at any age and are not linked with any other medical conditions. Fibroadenomas do not become breast cancer, though some research suggests that women with a family history of breast cancer may be more likely to get fibroadenomas in their lifetime.
Fibroadenoma is often detected during self or doctor-administered manual examination, but are sometimes only found by mammogram or ultrasound. The mass is generally a small, firm lump, and doesn’t usually cause pain or discomfort.
Because it isn’t possible to conclusively diagnose fibroadenoma by simply feeling the mass, a biopsy has to be performed. A biopsy involves removing a sample of the suspicious mass from the breast and performing laboratory tests to determine whether or not the cells are cancerous.
In some cases, there may be no treatment necessary after a fibroadenoma diagnosis, though your physician may recommend monitoring it to see if the mass grows or shrinks (fibroadenomas have been known to disappear on their own within a few years). If the mass distorts the breast, it may be advisable to have the growth removed. If the growth occurs during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, it may be advisable to wait for hormone levels to normalize. However, it is highly likely that a physician will ultimately recommend removal of the fibroadenoma, because the presence of a lump may complicate and obscure the results of future breast screenings.
Non-surgical lump removal may also be an option for certain patients. Cryoblation is a procedure involving the permanent removal of fibroadenoma tumors by inserting a probe into the tumor and freezing the cells until they expire. The cells are then safely processed by the body.
Bedford Breast Center specializes in performing a variety of effective screening processes and treatments for suspicious breast lumps, whether they are from fibroadenoma or breast cancer. If you feel any abnormalities within your breasts, please don’t hesitate to contact the medical professionals at Bedford Breast Center online or call (310) 278-8590 for a screening today.