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What Is a Fibroma?

A soft fibroma can form on areas where skin rubs together.
A fibroid is a benign tumor that may grow in the uterus.
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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
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  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2014
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Though many tumors result in bodily harm, there are also benign tumors that are generally harmless. One such tumor is known as a fibroma. Made up of fibrous connective tissue rather than cancerous cells, they can grow in any and all organs and usually do not require removal.

Also known as fibroid tumors or fibroids, fibroma cells are referred to as fibromatous or fibroblastic. On the occasion that such cells do present a malignancy, they are called fibrosarcoma. These tumors can be classified as hard or soft, or as other very specific types.

Benign tumors containing many fibers but few cells are called hard fibromas. Those that normally appear on the neck, armpit, eye, and groin areas are called soft fibromas. These frequently develop in areas that often rub together, particularly in the case of people who are overweight or pregnant.

Within the uterus, uterine fibroids can develop. This type are the most common type of benign tumor that females develop. They are often formed during middle age and later reproductive years within a woman's lifetime; they are very rare in childhood. These tumors are generally firm, and range from tan to white in appearance.

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One differentiation between uterine fibroids and others is that they can cause many complications, such as heavy menstruation, painful intercourse, and problems with urination. Because of these issues, the tumors are often removed. When multiple fibromas are present, a patient may be diagnosed with uterine leiomyomatosis, which can be a cause for hysterectomy. When malignant, the disease is called leiomyosarcoma.

Many other types of fibroid exist, including the angiofibroma, which often affects adolescent males; cystic fibroma, a condition that softens the lymphatic vessels; and myxofibroma, where the liquefaction of soft tissue occurs. These tumors can also occur in the mouth, where they are known as cemento-ossifying fibromas.

Other than uterine fibromas, most fibroids do not exhibit any symptoms, and as such, they usually do not require removal. A medical professional can determine whether or not a tumor is malignant or not; if it is found to contain cancerous cells, it will need to be removed. Removal is usually a fast outpatient procedure.

Fibromas stem from mesenchyme or mesenchymal connective tissue, which is made of cells that are very loose. In addition to fibromas, mesenchyme also contributes to the development of cartilage, bone, and other connective tissues.

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anon334268
Post 6

I just had a smear test and my gyno said that my uterus is swollen and I need to have an ultrasound as it's probably a fibroma. Has anyone had this experience?

JessiC
Post 5

Although an ovarian fibroma is normally not harmful, they can be more than a little frustrating. They can also be painful.

I don’t care what anybody says. Anytime you have an abnormal growth someplace on your body, it is not – I repeat, is not – going to be as comfortable as if you didn’t have it. Not to mention that they can get quite large.

I didn’t know that I had mine until I got pregnant and my doctor found it during my examination. Since then (that was 5 years ago) the tumor has grown quite a bit. I’m starting to feel like it’s distending my stomach a little, actually.

Unfortunately, lots of times when ovarian fibromas are removed, they just grow right back. Yay, right. I guess it could be worse, though. Thank goodness it isn't cancer.

poppyseed
Post 4

@EdRick – Plantar fibroma is no fun whatsoever! You may be rare, but you can take comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only one.

My sister has the same thing. And, as if that isn’t unlucky enough, she is also a part time waitress. Bless her, she is one of the many with a bachelor’s who was blindsided by the horrible economy downturn right around the time that she earned it. Now she's doing what she can to pay the bills.

Anyway, she makes really well with tips so she’s making ends meet sufficiently. She knew why her feet were hurting – duh, she was a waitress. But come to find out, she also had this fibroma.

She swears that taping duct tape underneath her sock over the sore place in the morning and wearing really good sneakers helps more than anything else she’s tried. Maybe you should check it out, too.

Nobody has to know that you really do use duct tape for everything!

dimpley
Post 3

I have this spot that is on my right inner thigh. It is not really big – maybe the size of a dime, but certainly no bigger than that. It developed right after I had my first child.

I recently had my first checkup of several years and asked my doctor about it when she did my examination. It’s more unsightly than anything, and I wish I could have it removed.

She really just beat around the bush, and said she wasn’t at all concerned about my spot. She, however, didn’t seem to want to tell me what it was.

I’m wondering if it isn’t a soft fibroma, and actually wanted to ask her, but I was afraid she would take offense to my pushing.

I’m wondering if anyone else has had this kind of seemingly harmless abnormality.

dfoster85
Post 2

@EdRick - I'm sorry! That's terrible. I really hope that your condition improves.

My only experience with fibromas was from a dog we had when I was a kid who developed quite a lump in her belly (my friends all thought it was incredibly gross). But then my best friend's kid was diagnosed with non-ossifying fibroma.

Apparently, it's usually completely harmless. In his case, though, he'll have to have surgery because it's weakening a bone. I know fibroma in children is about the least scary kind of cancer your kid could have, but the, there's really no good kind of cancer!

EdRick
Post 1

I thought I had warts or corns (I don't actually know what those are, but I hear of people having them) or some other normal thing when I had foot pain. But I went to a podiatrist and apparently I have plantar fibromas! Apparently, warts are usually in both feet, but fibromas are usually in just one.

The bad news is that surgery isn't always helpful and there's not much in the way of treatment. For now, I'm just wearing sneakers and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible. It's really rare, too. Guess I'm just special.

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