In many cases, no treatment is necessary. However, most women choose to have their fibroadenomas surgically removed just for their peace of mind.
If your doctor is reasonably certain that your breast lump is a fibroadenoma and not breast cancer — based on the results of the clinical breast exam, imaging test and biopsy — surgery may be unnecessary.
You might decide to avoid surgery because:
- Surgery can distort the shape and texture of the breast
- Fibroadenomas sometimes shrink or disappear on their own
- The breast has multiple fibroadenomas that appear to be stable
If you choose not to have a fibroadenoma removed, continued monitoring is important to make sure it doesn't grow larger. At any time that you become overly anxious about the fibroadenoma, you can reconsider surgery.
Your doctor might recommend surgery to remove the fibroadenoma if one of your tests — the clinical breast exam, an imaging test or a biopsy — is abnormal.
The procedure to remove a fibroadenoma is called a lumpectomy or excisional biopsy. The tissue will be examined in a lab to check for cancer. After a fibroadenoma is removed, it's possible that one or more new fibroadenomas may develop.
New lumps need to be assessed with mammograms, ultrasound and possibly biopsy — to determine if the lump is a fibroadenoma or cancer. You may need another surgery to remove the fibroadenoma if leaving it in place makes you anxious.
May. 27, 2011
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- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 5, 2011.