Fibroadenomas, are benign breast tumours characterized by an admixture of stromal and epithelial tissue. Breasts are made of lobules (milk producing glands) and ducts (tubes that carry the milk to the nipple). These are surrounded by glandular, fibrous and fatty tissues. Fibroadenomas develop from the lobules. The glandular tissue and ducts grow over the lobule to form a solid lump.
Since both fibroadenomas, and breast lumps as a sign of breast cancer can appear similar, it is recommended to perform ultrasound analyses and possibly tissue sampling with subsequent histopathologic analysis in order to make a proper diagnosis. Unlike typical lumps from breast cancer, fibroadenomas are easy to move, with clearly defined edges. Fibroadenomas are sometimes called breast mice or a breast mouse owing to their high mobility in the breast
Signs and symptoms
Fibroadenomas are benign tumours of the breast, most often present in women in their 20s and 30s. Clinically, fibroadenomas are usually solid breast lumps that are:
2. Firm or rubbery
4. Solitary-round with distinct, smooth borders
5. Found in either one or both breasts
The cause of fibroadenoma is unknown (idiopathic). A connection between fibroadenomas and reproductive hormones has been suggested which may explain why they present themselves during reproductive years, increase in size during pregnancy, and regress post-menopause.
Higher intake of fruits and vegetables, higher number of live births, lower use of oral contraceptives and moderate exercise are associated with lower frequency of fibroadenomas.
Approximately 90% of fibroadenomas are less than 3 cm in diameter. However, these tumors have the potential to grow reaching a remarkable size, particularly in young individuals. The tumor is round or ovoid, elastic, and nodular, and has a smooth surface. The cut surface usually appears homogenous and firm, and is grey-white or tan in colour. The pericanalicular type (hard) has a whorly appearance with a complete capsule, while the intracanalicular type (soft) has an incomplete capsule.
Fibroadenoma of the breast is a benign tumor composed of a biphasic proliferation of both stromal and epithelial components that can be arranged in two growth patterns: pericanalicular (stromal proliferation around epithelial structures) and intracanalicular (stromal proliferation compressing the epithelial structures into clefts).
These tumors characteristically display hypovascular stroma compared to malignant neoplasms. Furthermore, the epithelial proliferation appears in a single terminal ductal unit and describes duct-like spaces surrounded by a fibroblastic stroma. The basement membrane is intact.
Fibroadenomas can be expected to shrink naturally and so, most are simply monitored. Monitoring fibroadenomas involves regular check-ups to make sure that the breast mass is not growing and is not potentially cancerous. Check-ups involve physical examinations performed every 3–6 months and optional diagnostic imaging performed every 6–12 months for 1–2 years. Generally, surgery is only recommended if the fibroadenoma gets larger or causes increased symptoms. They are removed with a small margin of normal breast tissue if the preoperative clinical investigations are suggestive of the necessity of this procedure. A small amount of normal tissue must be removed in case the lesion turns out to be a phyllodes tumour on microscopic examination.
Some fibroadenomas respond to treatment with ormeloxifene.
Fibroadenomas have not been shown to recur following complete excision or transform into phyllodes tumours following partial or incomplete excision.
Non-invasive Surgical Interventions
There are several non-invasive options for the treatment of fibroadenomas, including percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation, and percutaneous microwave ablation. With the use of advanced medical imaging, these procedures do not require invasive surgery and have the potential for enhanced cosmetic results compared with conventional surgery.
The American Society of Breast Surgeons recommends the following criteria to establish a patient as a candidate for cryoablation of a fibroadenoma:
1. The lesion must be sonographically visible.
2. The diagnosis of a fibroadenoma must be confirmed histologically.
3. The lesion should be less than 4 cm in diameter.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Of all breast tissue samples taken, fibroadenomas comprise about 50%, and this rate rises to 75% for tissue sample in women under the age of 20 years. Fibroadenomas are more frequent among women in higher socioeconomic classes and darker-skinned people. Body mass index and the number of full-term pregnancies were found to have a negative correlation with the risk of fibroadenomas. There are no known genetic factors that influence the rate of fibroadenomas. The rate of occurrence of fibroadenomas in women have been reported in literature to range from 7% to 13%.
A fibroadenoma is a very common benign (not cancer) breast condition. The most common symptom is a lump in the breast which usually moves when you touch it.
Fibroadenomas often develop during puberty so are mostly found in young women, but they can occur in women of any age. Men can also get fibroadenomas, but this is very rare.
Symptoms of fibroadenoma
A fibroadenoma is usually felt as a lump in the breast which has a rubbery texture, is smooth to the touch and moves easily under the skin.
Fibroadenomas are usually painless, but sometimes they may feel tender or even painful, particularly just before a period.
Types of fibroadenoma
1. Simple fibroadenoma
2. Complex fibroadenoma. Some fibroadenomas are called complex fibroadenomas. When these are looked at under a microscope, some of the cells have different features.
3. Giant or juvenile fibroadenoma
Occasionally, a fibroadenoma can grow to more than 5cm and may be called a giant fibroadenoma. Those found in teenage girls may be called juvenile fibroadenomas.
If you find a breast lump, see your GP (local doctor). They’re likely to refer you to a breast clinic where you’ll be seen by specialist doctors or nurses.
At the breast clinic you’ll have various investigations, known as ‘triple assessment’, to help make a definite diagnosis. This assessment consists of:
– A breast examination
– Ultrasound scan (uses high frequency sound waves to produce an image) and/or a mammogram (breast x-ray)
– A core biopsy and/or a fine needle aspiration (FNA).
Fibroadenomas are often easier to identify in younger women. If you’re in your early 20s or younger, your fibroadenoma may be diagnosed with a breast examination and ultrasound only. However, if there’s any uncertainty about the diagnosis, a core biopsy or FNA will be done.
If you’re under 40, you’re more likely to have an ultrasound than a mammogram. Younger women’s breast tissue can be dense which can make the x-ray image less clear so normal changes or benign breast conditions can be harder to identify. However, for some women under 40, mammograms may still be needed to complete the assessment.
Vacuum assisted excision biopsy
You may be offered a vacuum assisted excision biopsy to remove the fibroadenoma. This is a way of removing small fibroadenomas under local anaesthetic, without having surgery.
After an injection of local anaesthetic, a small cut is made in the skin. A hollow probe connected to a vacuum device is placed through this. Using an ultrasound or mammogram as a guide, the fibroadenoma is sucked through the probe by the vacuum into a collecting chamber. The biopsy device is used in this way until all of the fibroadenoma has been removed. This may mean that an operation under a general anaesthetic can be avoided. The tissue removed is sent to a laboratory and examined under a microscope. This procedure can cause some bruising and pain for a few days afterwards.
Ayurvedic formulations use full in fibroadenoma BREAST-
- Kanchnar guggulu
- Dasang lepa
- Vridhi vadhika vati
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- Punarnava mandoor
- Rajah pravartani vati
- Medohar guggulu
- Kanchnar kashya
- Aam pachak vati