Fibroadenoma is a noncancerous (benign) breast tumor that is made up of both glandular and fibrous tissue. It is one of the most common types of breast lumps and usually occurs in women between the ages of 20 and 40. Fibroadenomas can vary in size, ranging from very small (less than one centimeter) to several centimeters in diameter.

The cause of fibroadenomas is not completely understood, but they are thought to be related to hormonal changes in the body. They may grow in response to estrogen and progesterone, and are more common in women who have not yet gone through menopause.

Most fibroadenomas do not cause any symptoms and are discovered during a routine breast exam or mammogram. Some may cause pain or discomfort, or feel tender or sore to the touch. In rare cases, a fibroadenoma may grow large enough to distort the shape of the breast.

Fibroadenomas are generally not dangerous and do not increase the risk of breast cancer. However, it is important to have any breast lump evaluated by a healthcare provider to rule out other more serious conditions. If a fibroadenoma is causing symptoms or is large enough to be concerning, it may be surgically removed.

Fibroadenomas can be detected through different imaging techniques.

Mammography: A mammogram is a type of X-ray that can detect lumps or abnormalities in the breast tissue. Fibroadenomas typically appear as a well-defined, round or oval-shaped mass with smooth edges on a mammogram.

Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the breast tissue. Fibroadenomas often appear as a well-circumscribed, solid mass with a smooth surface on an ultrasound.

MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the breast tissue. MRI can be particularly useful in evaluating the size and extent of a fibroadenoma, and can be used to distinguish between a fibroadenoma and other types of breast lesions.

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy: In this procedure, a small needle is used to extract a sample of cells from the fibroadenoma. The sample is then examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis of fibroadenoma.

Core needle biopsy: This procedure involves using a larger needle to obtain a tissue sample from the fibroadenoma. The tissue is then examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out any possibility of cancer.

Overall, imaging studies and biopsies can help diagnose fibroadenomas and distinguish them from other types of breast lumps or cancers.