Fibroadenoma or fibroadenoma mammary (FAM) is a type of benign tumor that forms in the breast. Fibroadenoma is characterized by a small lump in one or both breasts, which feels solid and easy to move.

Fibroadenoma is one of the most common types of benign breast tumors experienced by women aged 15-35 years. These tumors are small in size with a dense texture and easy to move.

Fibroadenomas can go away on their own, but in some cases they can get bigger and need to be removed surgically.

Types of Fibroadenomas

Fibroadenoma is divided into several types, namely:

  • Simple fibroadenoma
    Simple fibroadenoma is the most common type of fibroadenoma, but does not run the risk of turning malignant. This fibroadenoma is often experienced by young women.
  • Complex fibroadenoma
    Complex fibroadenoma contains cells that can grow quickly. This type of fibroadenoma usually occurs in elderly women.
  • Juvenile fibroadenoma
    Juvenile fibroadenoma usually affects women aged 10-18 years. This type of fibroadenoma can enlarge, but usually shrinks over time.
  • Giant fibroadenoma
    This type of fibroadenoma can enlarge to a size of 5 cm so it must be removed so as not to press on the surrounding breast tissue.
  • Phyllodes tumor Phyllodes tumors
    are usually benign, but can become malignant. The doctor will suggest this tumor to be removed.

Fibroadenoma Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of fibroadenoma is not known. However, this condition is thought to be related to the activity of the hormone estrogen. This assumption arises because fibroadenoma often appears when women are of reproductive age.

In addition, fibroadenoma is common in women with the following factors:

  • 15–35 years old
  • Have a family history of breast cancer
  • Taking birth control pills before the age of 20
  • Is pregnant
  • Undergoing hormone replacement therapy

Fibroadenoma Symptoms

Fibroadenoma is sometimes not realized by the sufferer. In some cases, sufferers only become aware that they have a fibroadenoma in their breasts when they do a breast self-examination (BSE), or when they undergo a mammogram or ultrasound examination.

Fibroadenoma is characterized by a lump in one or both breasts. Usually, fibroadenoma lumps are 1–5 cm in diameter, but some are up to 15 cm. These lumps have the following characteristics:

  • It doesn't hurt
  • Feels supple and dense
  • Round in shape with a lump that is easy to feel (the border feels firm)
  • Easy to move

Although generally painless, fibroadenoma lumps can be painful if the sufferer enters the menstrual period. Lumps can also enlarge when the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding and shrink after entering menopause.

When to see a doctor

Fibroadenoma is the most common breast lump in women. These lumps are not malignant so you don't have to worry too much. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if you experience a lump accompanied by the following symptoms or signs:

  • The lump feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • The lump grows rapidly
  • The size, shape, and appearance of the breasts appear to change
  • Pain in the breast does not go away even though the menstrual period has passed
  • Red, wrinkled, or itchy breasts
  • Abnormal discharge from the nipples
  • Nipples go inward

Fibroadenoma diagnosis

The doctor will ask questions related to the patient's symptoms, followed by a physical examination of the lump in the patient's breast. After that, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations, such as:

  • Mammography , to see fibroadenoma lumps using X-rays
  • Breast ultrasound , to see the structure of breast tissue and detect whether the lump in the breast is solid or filled with fluid
  • Biopsy or tissue sampling of a lump in the breast with the help of ultrasound, to assess changes in cells or tissue in the breast

Fibroadenoma Treatment

Fibroadenomas generally do not need to be treated. However, patients still have to see a doctor regularly so that changes in lumps can be detected early.

In some cases, there are certain conditions that doctors can consider to remove fibroadenomas, including:

  • The lump develops into cancer
  • The patient has a family history of cancer
  • The lump enlarges to change the shape of the breast, and is painful
  • Patient concerns
  • Biopsy examination of the patient's lump is abnormal

The fibroadenoma removal procedure can be done by:

  • Lumpectomy
    Lumpectomy is performed to remove a fibroadenoma lump. In addition to treating fibroadenoma, tissue samples from this procedure can also be further examined to determine the type of cells and tissues that are growing in the lump.
  • Cryotherapy
    Cryotherapy aims to freeze and destroy fibroadenoma tissue. This procedure is carried out using argon gas or liquid nitrogen.

Please note, fibroadenoma can still reappear even though it has been removed. If these conditions occur, further tests and biopsies need to be done to determine whether the new lump is a fibroadenoma or cancer.

Complications of F i broadenoma

In most cases, fibroadenomas do not cause complications and do not increase the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the risk of developing breast cancer increases if the type of fibroadenoma you have is a complex fibroadenoma or phyllodes tumor .

Fibroadenoma prevention

As mentioned above, it is not yet known what causes fibroadenoma. Therefore, how to prevent it is also unknown. However, you can detect changes in your breasts by doing a breast self -examination (BSE).

BSE should be done between the 7th and 10th day after menstruation. The method is as follows:

  1. Stand straight in front of the mirror and observe if there are any changes in the shape or surface of the breast skin, as well as swelling or changes in the nipples.
  2. Lift both arms up by bending your elbows and placing your hands behind your head, then push your elbows back and forth while observing the shape and size of your breasts.
  3. Place your hands on your hips and lean your shoulders forward while pushing your elbows forward, then tighten your chest muscles and examine your breasts.
  4. Lift the right arm up and bend the elbow until the left hand touches the top of the back, then touch and press the entire right breast to the armpit area using the fingertips of the left hand. Do palpation in a circle, vertically and horizontally.
  5. Gently pinch both nipples and see if there is any discharge.
  6. Place a pillow under your right shoulder in a lying position. Do a palpation on the right breast as in step number 4 while continuing to observe the breast. Repeat the same steps on the left breast.

If you notice a lump, see a doctor, and take the following steps to avoid the condition getting worse:

  • Limiting consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Eating a complete and balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain body weight to remain ideal
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