Home Print this page Email this page Users Online: 216
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 207-209

Axillary fibroadenoma: Case report and review of literature

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Index Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Index Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2014

Correspondence Address:
Suryapratap Singh
Chinthareddypalam, Nellore - 524 002, Andhra Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.142564

Rights and Permissions

Fibroadenoma of breast and ectopic breast tissue is common pathology. Sometimes, it may be associated with hormonal imbalance. However, the presence of fibroadenoma in the axilla without ectopic breast tissue and hormonal imbalance is a rare presentation. We are presenting a rare case report of fibroadenoma developing in the right axilla in a 28-year-old woman. Clinical examination of both breasts revealed no abnormalities and no lymph nodes or supernumerary breasts were detected in the axilla or the neck. No associated urologic or cardiovascular abnormalities were found and the histopathological examination of the excisional biopsy samples showed a well-defined, capsulated type of fibroadenoma similar to that of ectopic mammary tissue.

  Abstract in Arabic 

ملخص البحث :

يعتبر الورم الغددي الليفي من الحالات الشائعة ويرتبط أحيانًا باضطراب الهرمونات . وحدوث هذا الورم في الإبط دون مصاحبة للأنسجة الثديية أو اضطراب الهرمونات من الحالات النادرة . يعرض الباحثون حالة ورم غددي ليفي نادرة في الإبط الأيمن لدى سيدة في الثامنة والعشرين من عمرها . لم يظهر الفحص السريري علاقة غير طبيعية أو غدد لمفاوية أو ثدي زائد في الإبط أو الرقبة ، كما لم توجد أية تغيرات مصاحبة في القلب أو المسالك البولية . بين الفحص المجهري للعينة وجود ورم غددي ليفي مشابه للأنسجة الثديية والتي قد توجد خارج الثدي .

Keywords: Axilla, breast surgery, excisional biopsy, super numerary breast

How to cite this article:
Singh S, Bhargava A. Axillary fibroadenoma: Case report and review of literature. Saudi J Med Med Sci 2014;2:207-9

How to cite this URL:
Singh S, Bhargava A. Axillary fibroadenoma: Case report and review of literature. Saudi J Med Med Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Jun 3];2:207-9. Available from: http://www.sjmms.net/text.asp?2014/2/3/207/142564

  Introduction Top

Breast associated anomalies are not very uncommon. 1% of women and 5% of men presents supernumerary nipples and less often, supernumerary breasts. These alterations are more common in women and are most frequently located along the mammary line, extending from the axilla to the pubic region. [1],[2],[3]

Since publications describeing this anomaly are rare in the literature, we decided to report on a case of fibroadenoma in axillary breast tissue. [4],[5],[6]

  Case report Top

A28-year-old woman was admitted because of a 2 cm × 2 cm × 2 cm right axillary mass, which had first appeared 1 year earlier. The mass increased in size within the past year. The mass was painless, firm, freely mobile and completely isolated from the right breast. Both breasts and nipples were clinically normal and there were no lymph nodes in the axilla and neck. The general and radiological examination of the urinary system showed no associated abnormalities. The hormonal examination was also normal.

The patient had no personal or family history of breast cancer. The preliminary cytological examination of the material obtained by needle aspiration biopsy from the mass revealed many clusters of cohesive epithelial cells with clusters of mesenchymal cells. A provisional diagnosis of fibroadenoma with no malignant changes was made. The entire surgically excised mass had a whitish lobular cut surface [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Samples from different levels of the mass were taken. The samples were processed for a routine histological examination and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The histopathological examination of the sections taken from the sample showed ductules lined by cuboidal epithelial cells resting on the myoepithelial cells layer and surrounded with abundant mesenchymal loose fibro-collagenous tissue. The fibroadenoma had a well demarcated margin. The histopathological picture was a fibroadenoma similar to the conventional type arising in normal breast tissue.
Figure 1: Reveals swelling at right axilla

Click here to view
Figure 2: Histopathological appearance of fi broadenoma

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

In normal development, most of the embryologic mammary ridges resolve, except for two segments in the pectoral region, which later become the breast. Supernumerary breast may be clearly visible and palpable or very small and not palpable. In our case, breast tissue was not palpable in axilla but the presence of fibroadenoma suggestive of existence of supernumerary breast.

Two hypotheses have been proposed on the embryogenesis of the supernumerary breast. One attributes the anomaly to the failure of regression and displacement of the milk line while the other believes it develops from the modified apocrine sweat glands. [7],[8],[9]

Supernumerary breast tissue is well documented in the medical literature and polymastia is one of its most common presentations. However, reports of benign and malignant tumors in supernumerary breasts are rare. [9],[10],[11],[12]

As compared to pectoral breast tissue, ectopic breast tissue demonstrates the same hormonal effects and is at risk of developing breast diseases. During the menses or pregnancy, hormonal stimulation may cause enlargement and discomfort. Ectopic breast tissue can undergo lactational changes during pregnancy and in the presence of a nipple-areolar complex, it can give rise to lactational secretion. [10],[11]

Fibroadenoma is a frequent cause of nodules in young women, with the highest incidence between the ages of 20 and 30 years. It is rarely described in axillary supernumerary breasts. Evidence from the natural history of fibroadenoma suggests that less than 5% of these tumors increase, whereas approximately one-fourth decreases in size. [13]

Tumors in supernumerary breast tissue should be diagnosed with the same methods applied to normal breast tissue (mammography, ultrasonography, cytologyandbiopsy), observing specific indications. However, due to its low incidence, diagnosis may be delayed or even ignored, thus making treatment more difficult. When tumors or nodules are found along the mammary line, the presence of breast tissue should be considered during the investigation. [10],[14],[15]

Axillary fibroadenoma or supernumerary breasts are not very common in the population. [1]

On the basis of history and literature evidence of fibroadenoma proves that approximately 5% of these fibroadenoma increases in size with time and approximately 25% become smaller with the period. [2],[6],[16]

Same like our case, a case of 28-year-old woman with fibroadenoma in the axilla, with normal clinical and radiological findings reported by Aughsteen et al. Post-excision biopsy revealed fibroadenoma in the axilla. [1]

This case demonstrates a rare occurrence of fibroadenoma in an axillary non-palpable supernumerary breast. The origin of fibroadenoma is basically from the non-palpable normal breast tissue located at the axilla at the milk line. Although the benign nature and natural history of fibroadenoma are well-known, biopsy should be considered forwomenaged 40 years or older, due to the increased rate of cancer in this age range. Breast surgery has a major role and surgical excision is a choice of treatment. Among women of this age, if conservative management is chosen, periodic clinical and mammographic control is required, following negative cytological tests.

In the view of malignant transformation of the axillary for women aged, this entity requires careful investigation and diagnosis. [6],[16]

  Conclusion Top

The need for careful investigation with aggressive treatment of any swelling in the axilla and breast region should be emphasized, because it may be affected by benign and malignant diseases.

  References Top

Aughsteen AA, Almasad JK, Al-Muhtaseb MH. Fibroadenoma of the supernumerary breast of the axilla. Saudi Med J 2000;21:587-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Dixon JM, Mansel RE. ABC of breast diseases. Congenital problems and aberrations of normal breast development and involution. BMJ 1994;309:797-800.  Back to cited text no. 2
Grossl NA. Supernumerary breast tissue: Historical perspectives and clinical features. South Med J 2000;93:29-32.  Back to cited text no. 3
Craigmyle MB.The Apocrine Glands and the Breast. Chichester: Wiley; 1984.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kazakov DV, Spagnolo DV, Kacerovska D, Michal M. Lesions of anogenital mammary-like glands: An update. Adv Anat Pathol 2011;18:1-28.  Back to cited text no. 5
Pardo M, Silva F, Jiménez P, Karmelic M. Mammary carcinoma ine ectopic breast tissue. A case report. Rev Med Chil 2001;129:663-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gugliotta P, Fibbi ML, Fessia L, Canevini P, Bussolati G. Lactating supernumerary mammary gland tissue in the vulva. Appl Pathol 1983;1:61-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
Odike MA, Orakwe JC, Oguejiofor OC, Odenigbo UC, Onyiaorah IV. Axillary fibroadenoma mimicking lymphadenopathy. Niger J Clin Pract 2008;11:72-3.  Back to cited text no. 8
Tresserra F, Grases PJ, Izquierdo M, Cararach M, Fernandez-Cid A. Fibroadenoma phyllodes arising in vulvar supernumerary breast tissue: Report of two cases. Int J Gynecol Pathol 1998;17:171-3.  Back to cited text no. 9
De Cholnoky T. Accessory breast tissue in the axilla. N Y State J Med 1951;51:2245-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Goyal S, Puri T, Gupta R, Julka PK, Rath GK. Accessory breast tissue in axilla masquerading as breast cancer recurrence. J Cancer Res Ther 2008;4:95-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
Kazakov DV, Spagnolo DV, Stewart CJ, Thompson J, Agaimy A, Magro G, et al. Fibroadenoma and phyllodes tumors of anogenital mammary-like glands: A series of 13 neoplasmsin 12 cases, including mammary-type juvenile fibroadenoma, fibroadenoma with lactation changes, and neurofibromatosis-associated pseudoangiomatous stromal hyperplasia with multinucleated giant cells. Am J Surg Pathol 2010;34:95-103.  Back to cited text no. 12
Giron GL, Friedman I, Feldman S. Lobular carcinoma in ectopic axillary breast tissue. Am Surg 2004;70:312-5.  Back to cited text no. 13
Nayak S, Acharjya B, Devi B. Polymastia of axillae. Indian J Dermatol 2007;52:118.  Back to cited text no. 14
  Medknow Journal  
Rahbar F. Clinical significance of supernumerary nipples in black neonates. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 1982;21:46-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
Coras B, Landthaler M, Hofstaedter F, Meisel C, Hohenleutner U. Fibroadenoma of the axilla. Dermatol Surg 2005;31:1152-4.  Back to cited text no. 16


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Ectopic breast tissue lesion in axilla: Cytology report of two cases
Jitendra Singh Nigam,Pooja Garg,Shibojit Talukder
Diagnostic Cytopathology. 2019;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Giant Axillary Fibroadenoma: A Rare Case Report
Bhavinder K Arora
MOJ Clinical & Medical Case Reports. 2017; 7(2)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Fibroadenoma of ectopic breast tissue of the axilla in an adolescent girl
Engin Yilmaz,Çagatay E. Afsarlar,Saynur Yilmaz,Nilüfer Arda
Annals of Pediatric Surgery. 2017; 13(2): 99
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
  Case report
   Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded302    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal