It is very common for women to experience benign (not cancerous) breast conditions during their lifetime. These typically do not lead to cancer, but it is still important to talk to your provider about any changes in your breasts. Oftentimes, they will recommend a biopsy to check for cancer. If the condition is benign, there are a variety of treatments available.
One common benign breast condition is a fibroadenoma, a solid breast tumor. Fibroadenomas are benign, meaning they are not cancerous and they will not turn into cancer. Some fibroadenomas can be felt during a breast self-examination or clinical examination, while others are detected during a mammogram. Once it has been identified, you will be scheduled for a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and confirm if the tumor is benign.
Although fibrodenomas are not cancerous, they may cause pain or anxiety regarding the breast’s appearance. If that’s the case, fibroadenomas can be removed in a quick, outpatient procedure called cryoablation.
Cryoablation is a non-surgical procedure that uses extreme cold to destroy the fibroadenoma tissue. The procedure requires local anesthesia to numb the area. Your provider will insert a small needle into the fibroadenoma and use extreme cold to destroy the tissue. The procedure is painless and takes about 15 minutes to complete. After cryoablation, your body will naturally absorb the destroyed cells. This procedure does not require stitches and many women will return to normal activities very quickly.
Lovelace Women’s Hospital is the only hospital in New Mexico offering cryoablation to remove fibroadenomas. To schedule an appointment, please call 727.6900 or discuss a referral with your primary care provider.
Lovelace Women's Hospital Breast Care Center