Fibroadenomas are benign (not cancerous) breast tumors commonly found in young women. Fibroadenoma means "a tumor composed of glandular (related to gland) and fibrous (containing fibers) tissues."
Breast fibroadenomas, abnormal growths of glandular and fibrous tissues, are most common between the ages of 15 and 30, and are found in 10% of all women (20% of African-American women). They are found rarely in postmenopausal women.
Described as feeling like marbles, these firm, round, movable, and "rubbery" lumps range from 1-5 cm in size. Giant fibroadenomas are larger, lemon-sized lumps. Usually single, from 10-15% of women have more than one.
While some types of breast lumps come and go during the menstrual cycle, fibroadenomas typically do not disappear after a woman's period, and should be checked by a doctor.
Causes and symptoms
The cause of breast fibroadenomas is unknown. They may be dependent upon estrogen, because they are common in premenopausal women, can be found in postmenopausal women taking estrogen, and because they grow larger in pregnant women.
Fibroadenomas usually cause no symptoms and may be discovered during breast self-examination, or during a routine check-up.Prevention
Breast fibroadenomas cannot be prevented. They can be discovered early by regular breast self-examination.
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