Fibroadenomas are solid benign lumps that are most commonly found in women of 15 to 35 years old age. Morphologically, an adenoma is a smooth, firm and mobile lump that may slip away when trying to feel. The size may be varied. Also, they may either shrink or enlarge with time. The treatment may include just monitoring or surgical removal if needed. Fibroadenoma may be of three types:
Simple fibroadenoma - A simple fibroadenoma is about 1-3 cm in size. The type of tumors look the same all over when observed under the microscope. These do not pose any risk of developing breast cancer.
Complex fibroadenoma - Complex fibroadenomas have different features like shape, size etc. They pose a slight risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
Giant or juvenile fibroadenoma - In rare cases, a fibroadenoma may grow up to more than 5 cm. This is found in adolescent girls.
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Who is more prone to having fibroadenoma?
A fibroadenoma is a common condition. Approximately 10-12 % of women have these lumps in the breast. Surprisingly, most of them are not even aware of these lumps because there is no associated signs and symptoms related to a fibroadenoma.
The most common age group in women, who are more prone is 15 to 35 years. Other than this, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding also carry the risk of having fibroadenoma. Read more about fibroadenoma.
Can fibroadenoma turn into cancer?
Fibroadenoma is affected by hormonal imbalances. If the estrogen levels increase in the body, there are chances that fibroadenoma may turn cancerous. Out of the above types, the complex fibroadenoma is more prone to turn cancerous. Women who are able to maintain ideal body weight and exercise regularly have lesser chances to acquire breast cancer.
How is fibroadenoma diagnosed?
Just after you visit your doctor, he or she will take a detailed medical history. This will include your past medical history, any other illness, family history, and social habits such as drinking, smoking etc. This is followed by the following examinations for breast:
Clinical examination - The physician will do a physical examination of the breast by palpating them. The shape, size, and swelling or lump in the breast are looked for.
Mammography - It is a type of x-ray, producing an image of the affected area. A fibroadenoma may appear as a breast mass on the mammogram having round edges and distinct border from the breast tissue.
Ultrasound - A breast ultrasound may be used in addition to mammography to look for fibroadenoma. It helps the doctor to know if the lump in solid or fluid-filled. This is one of the key features that distinguish between fibroadenoma or a breast cyst. A fibroadenoma appears as a solid mass whereas a breast cyst is fluid-filled.
Fine-needle aspiration - A thin needle is inserted into the breast through which the contents of the lump is extracted. The contents are examined to make the final diagnosis. If any fluid comes out, it is likely to be a cyst.
Is fibroadenoma surgery painful?
The surgical procedure itself is not painful. However, there may be pain after surgery due to surgical trauma. The patients are given either local or general anaesthesia before the surgery.
What happens during the surgery?
A breast lump removal surgery lasts about 15-45 minutes. An incision is made, mostly with an electric scalpel to minimize bleeding. Occasionally, a rubber drain may be inserted to drain the fluid if present inside. After removing the lump, the incision is sutured back into place, and the dressing is done.
What to expect after the surgery?
Usually, the patients are required to stay in the hospital overnight and discharged the day after. All the vitals are measured including blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. After getting discharged, the patients are advised to:
- Take pain medications as prescribed by the surgeon.
- Take care of the bandage on the surgical wound.
- Take care of the drain and keep removing the fluid regularly.
- Keep moving your arm to avoid any stiffness.
- Be careful to notice any sign of infection and contact your surgery immediately.
What kind of doctor removes breast lumps?
Typically, a breast surgeon is authorized to perform the surgery. Other than this, a surgical oncologist can also do it.
How to dissolve breast lumps naturally?
It is possible to get rid of the breast lumps in a natural way, just by using the following substances from home.
Get rid of coffee or other caffeinated drinks - Beverages like coffee, tea, wine or soft drinks contain a harmful substance called methylxanthines. Methylxanthine is a substance responsible to stimulate the production of stress hormones. These hormones are strongly associated with breast lumps and breast tenderness. It has been studied that around 80 per cent of women found significant relief in their symptoms after reducing the intake.
Ice compression - Ice compression can provide great ease to inflammation and tenderness. You may use a plastic bag filled with crushed ice or wrap it in a towel. Place the ice on the sore breast for ten minutes.
Fish - Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel are really good for hormonal health. They are high in iodine. Deficiency of iodine leads to the development of breast lumps.
Reduce meat consumption - The livestock including cows, chicken, goats are pumped with hormones. Avoid eating meat during the time when your body is high on hormones. If you have to eat meat, you must buy hormone-free meat.
Vegetables - Certain vegetables like parsley, cucumber, or cabbage act as diuretics which help in flushing the excess fluid from the body and hence help in breast swelling reduction.
Other than this, there are certain substances that act as natural supplements. They are effective in breast swelling reduction. These are:
Iodine - Breast lumps or tenderness is mostly due to iodine deficiency. Iodine acts as a natural supplement and helps in the removal of excess estrogen and also reduce the responsiveness of the body to estrogen. The most common source of iodine is common salt. However, if you have a thyroid condition, you must consult your doctor before taking any iodine supplement. Click here to know about the effects of estrogen in the body.
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Red Raspberry leaf - This is a herbal remedy which balances the hormones and flushes out excess estrogen. However, it has to be taken consistently.
How long does it take to recover from fibroadenoma surgery?
The recovery period varies from case to case. It depends upon the complexity of the case and the overall health status of the patient. Usually, one has to stay overnight in the hospital and gets discharged the next day. It is important to come for regular follow-up visits. Meanwhile, at home, patients are recommended to take care of the incision site.
- Take rest
- Take sponge-baths instead of shower till stitches are in place
- Wear well-fitted innerwear.
- Exercise, as recommended by the surgeon.
Other than this, one should also be careful about the signs and symptoms of infection such as redness, swelling, or pain.
After 4 to 6 weeks of the surgery,
- The firmness in the breast may continue to persist. However, there is nothing to worry about.
- In some cases, pink or clear fluid may get accumulated under the skin.
- Occasional bruising.
- A seroma or hematoma may also develop. If this happens, consult your surgeon.
- You may feel hollowing of the skin from where the tissue is removed. If it gets bothersome, you must consult the doctor.
- There may be changes in your emotional state. You may feel anxious or depressed. However, it is a normal reaction in this phase.
How can Vaidam Health help you?
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