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Fibroadenoma – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Please note that some images may be disturbing.
Since I started following IMBB, I always thought I would like to contribute back something to IMBB for such lovely reviews and fantastic work u all are doing. I always thought of doing a review for my first article in IMBB but then I changed my mind. I would like to create awareness about fibroadenomas in women. God works in the most mysterious ways. I was never a serious kind of person and of course! By nature I was an ignorant and fun-loving teenager. I didn’t show any interest in participating in any awareness camps in college or join the Rotary club or NSS in my junior college. I always thought those clubs are boring and they suck all the social life out of you. But as Clarence Day said –Information’s pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience. I was diagnosed with multiple fibroadenoma of the breast. Not many women know about this condition and hence I thought of sharing my experience and a little information about it .So here goes,
Fibroadenoma is a benign tumour containing fibrous tissues and glands. They just appear, but they should not cause you any fear or sleepless nights. Because they are benign, they will not cause you any problems when it comes to cancer. It is commonly found in breasts in women. It is estimated that out of every 10 women, 8 women are detected with fibroadenomas. These solid, smooth, firm and benign lumps are most commonly found in women in their late teens and early 20s. They are the most common benign lumps that occur in women and can occur in women of any age. Increasingly, they are being seen in postmenopausal women who are taking hormone replacement therapy. The painless lump feels rubbery and moves around freely and very often is found by the woman herself. They vary in size and can grow anywhere in the breast tissue.
Now, these lumps can occur alone, in groups or as a complex. If you have multiple or complex fibroadenomas, this may raise your risk of breast cancer slightly. Hence it is very important that you self examine your breasts for presence of these lumps. While doing your regular breast self-exam, you may feel a breast fibroadenoma. These feel firm, round, smooth, rubbery, and are movable. While most physicians can recognize this type of lump simply by feeling it, generally, the diagnosis is confirmed by mammography or ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration. Sometimes, in very young women, the fibroadenoma is not removed if it is small, painless, remains the same size and a biopsy shows no problems. It is important that you keep a check on these tumours by having follow-up ultrasounds. However, since sometimes these tumors enlarge with pregnancy and breastfeeding, physicians may recommend surgically removing the fibroadenoma. Alternative treatments include removing the lump with a needle and destroying the lump without removing it (such as by freezing, in a process called cryoablation).
Now to the important question – WHAT CAUSES THESE TUMOURS? The exact cause of fibroadenomas is unknown. They seem to be influenced by estrogen, because they appear most often in premenopausal or pregnant women, or in women who are postmenopausal and taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Most fibroadenomas come and go during your menstrual cycle, when your hormone levels are changing.
I was diagnosed with multiple fibroadenoma lumps one year ago. Since I had multiple lumps in both my breasts (5 to be more précise), I underwent surgical lumpectomy to get these tumours removed. I had my life changed because I thought” come on, I am 23 yrs old, supposed to be enjoying my college years when all of the sudden the lump I felt up is a TUMOUR and I am supposed to undergo operation to get it removed.” Anyways, after the operation and slow recovery the anxiety, pain and trauma are in the rear view mirror now. During my stay in the hospital I came across many women who were in the most advanced stages of breast cancer. One particular story that caught my attention was that of one teenager girl who had 11 fibroids removed at the tender age of 17 years. I did not get a chance of interacting with her since she just got discharged when I was admitted. I must admit we have live two lives- one is where we are ignorant and what we learn with and the next is the one we live after that. I recently had a follow-up check up done and the doctor diagnosed me that I m in pink of health. Phew!!!!!!! I do wish that this article creates some amount of awareness amongst us women. Lastly, I would recommend all the women to please perform regular breast self-exams and be sure to visit a doctor to undergo necessary body check-ups and breast screenings just to be sure.