Fibroadenoma During Pregnancy and Other Breast Health Questions Answered
Breast abnormalities are certainly serious, but discovering a mass or lump in the breast during or immediately after pregnancy can be doubly frightening. Here are a few common questions about managing breast health before, during, and after pregnancy.
Should I have fibroadenomas removed during pregnancy?
Fibroadenomas – noncancerous masses – are not uncommon in pregnant patients since fibroadenomas are associated with fluctuating hormones. Most surgeons don’t recommend surgical intervention for the removal of a fibroadenoma until after the pregnancy. However, unless the mass is atypically large, surgical removal may not be necessary at all. Many women find that fibroadenoma tumors dissolve on their own post-pregnancy. Your doctor may want to monitor the fibroadenoma to see if there are any changes.
Can pregnancy cause fibroadneomas?
While fibroadenomas do occur largely during periods of hormonal flux (during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding), they are not specifically caused by pregnancy. Fibroadenomas occur when tissues surrounding milk production glands grow connective tissues around a gland or glands, creating a mass or lump. It is not yet known exactly what causes fibroadenoma, but they are most often seen in younger women – between the ages of 17 and 35 – and their occurrence has been known to correspond with puberty and the use of birth control medication, in addition to pregnancy.
Can you get breast cancer while pregnant?
Breast cancer can develop in pregnant and nursing women. Whether due to increased screenings, more vigilant medical care, or hyper-awareness in physical changes, breast cancer is among the most commonly detected forms of cancer in pregnant women.
Fortunately, cases of breast cancer developing during pregnancy are rare, and early detection and treatment very often lead to positive outcomes for the health of both mother and child.
Should breast cancer be treated during pregnancy?
When an abnormality is detected in the breast during a manual or self-examination, your physician may conduct a breast ultrasound to see if there are any signs of cancer. It is not recommended that a pregnant woman should undergo a mammogram until the first trimester has passed.
If malignant breast tissue is detected, it may be advisable to begin treatment immediately, though the health of the individual patient will dictate whether or not certain treatment options are advisable. While the presence of cancer in an expectant mother has not been shown to harm or affect the health and development of the fetus, some treatments might compromise the pregnancy. Although it isn’t advised to begin radiation therapy until the pregnancy has progressed beyond the second trimester (it also shouldn’t be administered after the 35th week), surgical intervention may be performed without risking the health of the baby. Undergoing breast cancer treatment seems particularly frightening during pregnancy, but a strategic approach to treatment will help to ensure a good result.
If you have concerns about an unidentified mass in your breasts, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Bedford Breast Center for an immediate screening.