Women in their teens or early 20s may not need a biopsy if the lump goes away on its own or if the lump does not change over a long period.
If a biopsy shows that the lump is a fibroadenoma, the lump may be left in place or removed.
You and your surgeon can discuss whether or not to remove the lump. Reasons to have it removed include:
Abnormal biopsy results
Pain or other symptoms
Worry or concern about cancer
If the lump is not removed, your health care provider will watch to see if it changes or grows. This may be done using
Sometimes, the lump is destroyed without removing it, using freezing. This is called cryoablation.
Women with fibroadenoma have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer later in life.
If the lump is left in place and watched carefully, it may need to be removed at a later time if it changes or grows.
In very rare cases, the lump is cancer, and will need further treatment.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have a lump that you think is a fibroadenoma and it grows or changes in any way.
Katz VL, Dotters D. Breast diseases: diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant disease. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 15.
Miltenburg DM, Speights VO Jr. Benign breast disease. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2008;35:285-300.
Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.