|AGE Most common between the ages of 15 and 30||GENDER|
|LIFESTYLE Not a significant factor||GENETICS More common in black women|
A fibroadenoma is a firm, round, noncancerous growth in the breast tissue.
A fibroadenoma is an overgrowth of a breast lobule (the part of the breast that produces milk) and surrounding connective tissue. Although the cause of this condition is not fully understood, the development of a fibroadenoma is thought to be linked to the sensitivity of breast tissue to female sex hormones. The lumps tend to grow more quickly during pregnancy, probably because of the increased levels of female sex hormones. Fibroadenomas appear more commonly in women aged between 15 and 30 and in black women.
A fibroadenoma is usually painless. These lumps can develop in any part of the breast and are usually about 1-5 cm ( ½ -2 in) in size. There may be more than one lump and sometimes both breasts are affected. In some women, multiple fibroadenomas develop together with a generalized thickening of the breast tissue.
It is important to carry out a regular breast self-examination to look for any changes in your breasts that last throughout your menstrual cycle (it is normal for there to be cyclical changes in shape, texture, and tenderness). Fibroadenomas are harmless, but consult your doctor so that the possibility of breast cancer can be ruled out.
What might be done?
Your doctor will probably give you a physical examination and refer you to a breast clinic. At the clinic you will usually undergo triple assessment: examination by a doctor; breast imaging by ultrasound scanning and/or mammography; and aspiration of a breast lump.
Small fibroadenomas do not usually need treatment. About 1 in 3 fibroadenomas become smaller or disappear completely within 2 years. If you are worried about the fibroadenoma, or if it grows larger, surgical removal may be recommended. After removal, the lump will be examined under a microscope for the presence of cancerous cells. In most cases, fibroadenomas do not recur after treatment.
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