Fibromas, or fibroid tumors, are benign masses made of fibrous or connective tissue.
These masses can develop in all organs of the body and form because of uncontrolled cell growth.
They can occur in anyone at any age, but are most common in adults. These growths normally do not need treatment.
There are many types of fibromas, including:
- Angiofibromas: Benign masses on the nose and cheeks
- Dermatofibromas: Benign growths on the skin
- Oral fibromas: Benign growths in the mouth
- Plantar fibromas: Benign growths on the foot
Women may also develop ovarian fibromas that tend to appear in middle age. Although usually not cause for concern, they can sometimes cause ovarian torsion, a rotation of the ovary that can cause sudden, sharp abdominal pain.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms for fibromas can vary depending on where they are on the body. Angiofibromas are usually in the nose or upper throat; and symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of hearing
- Bloody discharge from nose
- Persistent nosebleeds
- Stuffy nose
- Difficulty swallowing food
Dermatofibromas rarely have any symptoms. They are usually reddish-brown in color and firm to the touch. They usually appear on the legs but can appear on the abdomen or arms.
Oral fibromas usually don’t have symptoms.
Plantar fibromas usually cause pain that becomes worse when standing or walking. The fibromas appear as small, firm growths that appear in the arch of the foot.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Treatment varies depending on the type of fibroma. A dentist can usually remove an oral fibroma, especially if it interferes with the patient’s speech. When the mass is removed, it is sent to a lab for examination to make sure there is no cancer present.
Dermatofibromas are harmless and normally do not require treatment.
Plantar fibromas can be removed with a non-surgical procedure, which is the recommended course of treatment. Surgery can result in a long recovery process and a range of possible complications.
If the mass is benign, the patient should be able to have the mass removed and experience no further complications. There is a chance that certain types of fibromas may return, so they should be observed by a physician regularly.