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Definition

Fibroadenomas are solid, non-cancerous (usually painless) breast tumours occurring in adolescent girls and women under the age of 30. These tumours vary in size and usually shrink or get bigger on their own. If you push on the lump, you will probably find that it moves away from beneath your fingers. This is why some people call a fibroadenoma a ‘breast mouse'. Fibroadenomas do not move far within the breast.

Symptoms

The way to identify fibroadenomas on your own is by knowing what they feel like.

Fibroadenomas are:

  • Firm or rubbery
  • Round with distinct borders
  • Painless
  • Easily moved

If the tumour is big enough, you can just by running your hand over it, identify it. However, for small tumours that cannot be detected easily, an ultrasound is required.

Usually, fibroadenomas are not painful. However, they can be uncomfortable or very sensitive to touch. Often women find that their fibroadenoma gets tender in the days before their period. Pushing or prodding at the lump can also make it tender.

If you do feel like you may have a fibroadenoma, do seek medical attention.

Risk Factors

There are no known risk factors for fibroadenoma as such, however, if you have a breast lump , it is best to get it checked out , just in case it turns out to be breast cancer.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will first make a basic physical exam. This will involve checking both your breasts for any abnormalities or tumours. Depending on factors such as your age, your doctor may prescribe the following tests:

  • Breast ultrasound
  • Diagnostic mammography
  • Fine-needle aspiration
  • Core needle biopsy

Treatment

In most cases, fibroadenomas are harmless and require no treatment at all, however, some women prefer to have them surgically removed.

Surgeries for fibroadenoma include:

  • Cryoablation - freezing of the breast tissue by using gas
  • Lumpectomy or excisional biopsy - removal of the breast tissue to check for cancer

Most doctors would recommend not having surgery at all as it may distort the shape and texture of the breast.

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