Not all breast lumps are malignant (cancerous). There is such a thing as benign (non-cancerous) breast disease. The most prevalent, non-cancerous breast lumps are known as fibroadenomas [FI-bro-ad-eh-NO-mas]

About Fibroadenomas (Non-Cancerous Breast Lumps)

Fibroadenomas are usually solid, round, non-cancerous tumors that feel like a marble within the breast. They can range in size from microscopic to several inches across and you or your doctor can feel them during a breast exam. Fibroadenomas may require removal if they cause pain, continue to grow or change in shape. Many doctors recommend removing them to ensure they are not cancerous. Sometimes, new fibroadenomas may develop even after your doctor removes old ones.


Fibroadenomas occur in about 10 percent of all women and account for about half of the 1.6 million breast biopsies doctors perform each year in the US. They are common among girls in their teens and women in their twenties and thirties, but may occur at any age. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fibroadenomas occur twice as often in African-American women.

Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment

Most women detect fibroadenomas during a self-breast examination or your doctor may detect them during a clinical breast examination. Removing the lump may be necessary. In the past, most fibroadenomas were removed using an open surgical biopsy method. Open surgical removal of fibroadenomas may involve the removal of nearby breast tissue which can cause scarring and breast disfigurement. This method also requires stitches and an incision 1 to 2 inches long.

Nowadays, doctors can use a Mammotome breast biopsy device in the management of fibroadenomas with minimal scarring, no stitches and immediate recovery. Using this method, the incision is the size of a match head and the procedure may be performed in the doctor’s office.

Managing Fibroadenomas

Review the chart below to see the differences between managing benign breast disease (fibroadenomas) using a Mammotome breast biopsy device versus Open Surgery.

Patient Satisfaction Data

Women with benign, non-cancerous breast lumps can now receive care in a doctor’s office with a minimally invasive device such as a Mammotome breast biopsy device, rather than having the lump removed by surgery in an operating room. A study on management of benign disease with one of Mammotome’s breast biopsy devices reveals very high patient satisfaction.

In this study, 236 patients underwent a biopsy procedure using the Mammotome Breast Biopsy System, 179 had a six-month follow-up and 83 completed a satisfaction survey. The study concluded: