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Breast Lumps


​​​​A fibroadenoma is a non-cancerous (benign) breast lump of fibrous and glandular tissue. We don't know what causes fibroadenomas, but it may be related to hormone changes.

Fibroadenomas are the most common solid breast lumps in younger women. They can develop any time after puberty but are rare after menopause. Some fibroadenomas get bigger, while others stay the same or get smaller.

Most fibroadenomas are not linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

It's common to have only 1 fibroadenoma. But you may have more than 1, and you can have them in both breasts.

Fibroadenomas can be different sizes and get bigger at some times in your life, such as during pregnancy. Since many breast lumps feel similar during a breast exam, your healthcare provider may recommend you have breast imaging tests to check if you need more tests, such as a biopsy (taking a tissue sample).  


​Your healthcare provider will ask you about your breast health and family history and examine your breasts.

During a physical exam, fibroadenomas feel smooth and round, and they move freely. They feel firm and rubbery (like a pea or a grape) and are usually painless. If your healthcare provider thinks you have a fibroadenoma, they may send you for an ultrasound, mammogram, or both. ​


If you have a fibroadenoma, your healthcare provider will look at the following factors to plan your follow-up:

  • your age
  • health history
  • how long you've had the lump
  • the mammogram or ultrasound findings
  • your family history
  • any symptoms you may have from the lump
  • any recent change in the size or shape of the lump
  • location of the lump

Monitoring is the most common follow-up for fibroadenomas. This means you'll go back to your healthcare provider for a breast exam and more breast imaging in 6 months. Usually, the radiologist (imaging specialist) will recommend breast imaging every 6 months for 1 to 2 years to check that the lump is stable (not growing or changing).

You may need a breast biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of a fibro​adenoma.​​​

Current as of: August 16, 2023

Author: Women’s Health, Alberta Health Services