Types of Fibroid Tumors

Doctor talking to woman patient during checkup
Doctor talking to a female patient (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Connective tissue make up fibroid tumors (fibroma), which can grow in any organ of the body and usually don’t need to be removed. They may be called hard, soft, benign or fibrosarcoma (if they turn out to be cancerous). They are also called by the location of the tumor as in uterine fibroma. You can see some fibroid tumors, such as those that occur on the skin surface, sometimes called skin tags, while others, such as tumors in the lungs, aren’t visible and you may not know they are there. Some, like spinal chord tumors, may have symptoms of back pain to indicate there is a problem.

Hard Fibromas

Fibroid tumors with lots of fibers and few cells are hard fibromas (fibroma durum). An example is the cemento-ossifying fibroma (COF), located in your jaw or mouth. According to the American Journal of Neuroradiology website, besides fibrous tissue there may be calcified tissue as well which is bone-like. The tumor may appear between teeth on the jaw and may be the result of trauma, such as a fracture.

Soft Fibromas

Soft fibromas (fibroma molle) tend to show up on a person’s neck, eye, armpit and at the groin. They appear in areas of the skin that rub together. The Wise Geek website states those who are overweight or pregnant often have soft fibromas.

Uterine Fibromas

Uterine fibromas (fibroma utero) are the most common benign tumor in women. They tend to show up in middle age and can cause complications like difficulty with intercourse and heavy menstruation bleeding. Paul D. Indman, M.D. on his gynalternatives website states they may be left untreated, or if they are problematic, sometimes causing cramping and pain, can be surgically removed. Uterine fibromas can be in the wall of the uterus (intramural myomas) partly in the uterine cavity (submucous fibroids), on the outside wall of the uterus (subserous myomas) or connected to the uterus by a stalk (pedunculated fibroid).

Other Fibromas

Other areas where fibroid tumors appear are in the lungs, spinal chord or any other organ. The Children's Hospital Boston lists angiofibroma, a benign tumor that forms on the side of nasal passages, usually in adolescent males as one type which may cause nosebleeds, congestion and facial swelling. According to the Merck Manual website, lung tumors may turn out to be malignant, requiring removal, or benign, wherein they would only be removed if they interfered with lung function.

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