Fibroadenosis or fibroadenoma or fibrocystic disease is the most common cause of breast lumps in women of reproductive age. The peak incidence is between 35 and 50 years of age. It is rare before 25 years. Women with fibroadenosis or fibroadenoma generally complain of a lump in the breast. Typically a fibroadenoma is between 1 to 5 cm in diameter, firm, well circumscribed and mobile. Histologically it is characterized by overgrowth of both fibrous stroma, and of epithelial elements i.e. ducts and lobules, in differing proportions. These changes may be considered as aberrations of normal breast involution and not part of a disease process. The condition may be due to a disordered or imbalanced response to endogenous sex hormones. Only in those cases showing marked epithelial hyperplasia - epitheliosis - is the risk of breast carcinoma thought to be increased.
Fibroadenomas can occur alone, in groups or as a complex. Fibroadenomas are usually found as single lumps, but about 10 - 15% of women have several lumps that may affect both breasts. If you have multiple or complex fibroadenomas, this may raise your risk of breast cancer slightly. Black women tend to develop fibroadenomas more often and at an earlier age than white women. The cause of fibroadenoma is not known.
Cause of fibroadenoma is unknown in the younger women. The fact that its signs and symptoms are related to the menstrual cycle, and that it can be induced in men and animals given the female hormone oestrogen, have led to the suggestion that it may be related to hormone imbalance in this age group.
It can also develop around the time of the menopause, when it is due to hormone imbalance or due to the start of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
The typical case is the presence of a painless, firm, solitary, mobile, slowly growing lump in the breast of a woman of childbearing years.
A fibroadenoma is usually diagnosed through clinical examination, ultrasound or mammography, and often a needle biopsy sample of the lump.
Diet for the patients of fibroadenoma breast include a low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian type diet; a reduction in caffeine intake; supplementation with evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis), flax oil, or fish oil and vitamins E and C.
Breast fibroadenomas cannot be prevented. They can be discovered early by regular breast self-examination.