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Finding a lump or growth in her breast is every woman’s worst nightmare. But not all lumps need to scare you. Some are absolutely benign which means they pose no threat to your life. One such form of tumour is fibroadenoma of the breast. It is actually the commonest kind of non-malignant breast tumour. Read on to learn about its causes, symptoms and what you should do if you are diagnosed with it.
What is fibroadenoma of the breast?
This is a noncancerous growth that may develop in one or both breasts. It is made of the same tissues as your breasts and connective or stromal tissues. Of all age brackets, it is more common in women younger than 30. Their onset can be traced all the way back to puberty. Some ethnic groups are more likely to contract it than others. Men too may get fibroadenoma, even though that is extremely rare.Fibroadenoma has a well-defined shape and you can easily feel it (hard and smooth) under your skin. It will move with your skin. It may even feel rubbery to the touch. They can be of different sizes and sometimes they shrink or expand on their own volition. In India, fibroadenoma of the breast is fairly common with 1 million cases being diagnosed every year. Even though it is not life-threatening, you should still seek treatment for it. And if you want to know how you can reduce your chances of getting breast cancer, you can talk to a doctor through Medibuddy’s E-consultancy services.
Symptoms of fibroadenoma of the breast
Typically, fibroadenomas do not exhibit any symptoms. These are painless lumps. When they are very small, you wouldn’t even know that they exist. It's only when they enlarge that you will be able to feel their distinctive shape in your breasts. Book an appointment with your doctor if –
- You find new lumps developing in your breasts
- Your breasts feel different
- The lump has become larger or broken away from its surrounding tissues
What causes fibroadenomas?
The source of fibroadenoma puzzles doctors. Nobody can pinpoint what triggers this lump. But they suspect that an imbalance of reproductive hormones may cause fibroadenoma. What backs up this conjecture is that these tumours show up during a woman’s childbearing age, may expand when she is pregnant or undergoes hormone therapy and sometimes disappear after she hits menopausal age.
How will your Doctor diagnose fibroadenoma?
You may be recommended a mammogram, which will take X-Ray images of your breasts to detect any unnatural growth. Or you may have to undergo a breast ultrasound, during which sound waves will be utilized to create images of what the insides of your breasts look like. This is usually recommended if you have very dense breast tissues.To ensure that the lump is not malignant, your doctor might recommend-
- Fine needle aspiration: The doctor will insert a needle and prod the lump. If it discharges a fluid, it will be written off as a cyst
- Core Needle Biopsy: With the help of an ultrasound device and a needle, your doctor will extract a tissue sample of the lump that will then be sent to a diagnostic lab to analyse it
Treatment of fibroadenoma of the breast
Fibroadenomas do not cause any complications and sometimes (after menopause) may go away on their own. That is why doctors do not usually suggest surgery. However, many women prefer to get the lump removed for the sake of their peace of mind. But before you decide on surgery remember –
- Going under the knife can alter the shape and texture of your breasts
- Another fibroadenoma may appear in the place of the one that’s been extracted
But if you have a family history of breast cancer and the results of your tests are ambivalent, then your doctor will decide to err on the side of caution and recommend surgery (usually an Excision Biopsy or a Vacuum assisted Excision Biopsy).But, if you choose not to surgically remove the fibroadenoma, management of fibroadenomas will require-
- Regularly undergoing tests to monitor the lump
- Performing daily self-examination of your breasts
Fibroadenomas do not cause any complications or interfere with your lifestyle. But if you do feel a lump, you will have to be perpetually cautious and keep an eye out on it. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Consult a doctor on MediBuddy' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello'] Felt that alarming lump on your breast lately. Don’t panic! It could be just a harmless case of fibroadenoma. But still, you need not put up with it. Just talk to a doctor on MediBuddy.[/av_promobox] Sources: