Benign Breast Lumps

I have detected a lump in my breast that moves when pressed. Ultrasound-guided core biopsy indicated that it is benign. It is about 3 to 4 centimeters. I am 30 years old. Since it is noncancerous, should I have it surgically removed? What are the side effects of surgery? What is the best course of action?

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Q:

I have detected a lump in my breast that moves when pressed. Ultrasound-guided core biopsy indicated that it is benign. It is about 3 to 4 centimeters. I am 30 years old. Since it is noncancerous, should I have it surgically removed? What are the side effects of surgery? What is the best course of action?


A:

It sounds like you have a fibroadenoma, a solid, smooth, benign lump in the breast that typically occurs in women in their late teens and twenties, but which can occur at any age, even in babies! It's very common, occurring in 10 to 25 percent of women.

There is some evidence that a history of fibroadenomas can slightly increase your risk of breast cancer, particularly if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, or have had hyperplasia, an abnormal increase in breast cells..Given that, it's important that regardless of what you decide to do about the lump, you make sure to continue having regular examinations, including mammogram or other breast-imaging procedure (like ultrasound or MRI) to evaluate your breasts for any abnormalities.

Lately, breast surgeons have been using a procedure called cryoblation to remove lumps. This is a minimally invasive, office-based procedure performed with just local anesthesia. It involves very little pain and leaves little to no scarring, and only takes about 15 minutes.

Basically, the surgeon creates an "iceball" around the lump using a special gas. The lump eventually shrinks away to nothing, although it may take up to a year or more to disappear entirely.

You should definitely talk to your health care professional about this procedure. Even knowing that a lump is benign can still be nerve wracking, and I can definitely understand your desire to have it removed.

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