Is a fibroadenoma cancerous

Difference Between Cancer and Fibro Adenoma

A lump in the breast does not always have to be a cause for panic. Breast lumps can be benign or malignant. A benign lump is called a fibroadenoma, and a malignant lump can take the form of breast cancer.

What is a fibroadenoma?

During a routine breast exam in your home, a lump-like formation may be felt under the skin. It can be perceived as a small, round marble that has a lot of freedom of movement. Such a painless, highly mobile mass is called a fibroadenoma. These are solid, non-cancerous masses that occur in girls and women of childbearing age under 30 years of age. As a rule, such a mass is not a cause for concern, since its presence is associated with an increase in the level of reproductive hormones. It increases with an increase in the level of estrogen hormones, which occurs in years of growth and during pregnancy. The masses are observed to shrink and disappear during menopause. This is when the hormone levels are at their lowest. The fibroadenomas have a clear shape when viewed with the naked eye. It's firm and difficult to touch with a rubbery feel. Their size can vary from less than 3 cm to 5 cm.

The waiting and observation guideline is used for the diagnosis and treatment of fibro-adenomas. There are two types of fibroadenomas - simple and complex. Simple fibroadenoma is just a mass of glandular tissue in the breast that grows very slowly. They do not increase the risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, a complex fibroadenoma contains fluid-filled structures and calcium deposits in the lump. They can increase the risk of breast cancer and need to be monitored regularly for changes in behavior.

If you feel a lump in your breast, you need to see a doctor to rule out any malignancy. In mammography, a chest x-ray is taken to pinpoint the size and shape of the lump and also to look for any calcifications. Breast ultrasound is done after the mammogram to understand the consistency of the lump. This is followed by fine needle aspiration cytology, in which a thin needle is inserted into the mass and tissue material is extracted. If only fluid comes out, the lump is just a cyst. A core needle biopsy may follow, which requires the insertion of a thicker needle to remove a small amount of tissue for the biopsy.

If all diagnostic tests indicate fibroadenoma, no treatment other than regular breast exam is needed. Lump excision is usually not done because it distorts the shape of the breast and also increases the chance of its recurrence. In some cases, if patients insist, a lumpectomy or excision of the mass is performed. Cryo-ablation is another way to destroy the lump. A thin, stick-like device is inserted into the lump area. Gas is released into the tissue, which permanently freezes the tissue. This is only recommended for smaller lumps.

Breast cancer

This is a cancerous growth in the breast that is usually cancerous and can spread to surrounding areas through lymph nodes. The patient may present with lumps, pitting or wrinkling of the overlying skin, discharge from the nipples, ulceration, rarely sore breasts, retracted nipples, etc. The presence of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate cancer. Compared to fibroadenoma, the lumps are hard and less mobile and grow slowly.

Women with these symptoms should see a doctor for further evaluation. Mammogram and breast ultrasound will help determine the size of the mass, and will also indicate its dimensions and consistency. Fine needle aspiration cytology and core needle biopsy help in obtaining samples of tissue masses for pathological purposes. If the mass rapidly multiplies cells of altered shape and type, it indicates cancer. Excessive biopsy of the lump will give a better picture of the potential for malignancy of the lump.

Once cancer is diagnosed, the patient must undergo surgery to remove the tumor mass. If it has spread, a radical mastectomy is recommended. This includes removing all of the breast tissue along with the lymph nodes. Intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy programs follow.

In summary, fibroadenomas, or breast mice as they are known, are benign lumps that do not require treatment. Cancer, on the other hand, requires an aggressive treatment plan.