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.
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.