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What Are the Different Types of Adenoma?

Debra Durkee
Debra Durkee

An ademona is a non-cancerous growth in the tissues of the body. These lumps can occur in many areas and are commonly found in the pituitary gland, liver, thyroid, and colon. Pre-menopausal woman can develop these lumps in the tissue of the breast. Typically, the discovery of an adenoma in part of the body will result in a biopsy or medical scan to determine the size of the tumor, whether or not there is the threat of complications and tests to confirm it is not malignant.

One of the most common types of adenoma, which occurs in men as well as women, is the pituitary adenoma. A large growth in this area can result in a hormonal imbalance or problems with vision and headaches, depending on how the tumor is growing. Although pituitary adenomas tend to grow very slowly, surgery can be necessary to remove them to prevent bleeding in the brain, permanent vision problems, and occasionally even changes in personality. Often, these adenomas can be treated by the administration of medication to shrink or slow the tumor, minimally invasive surgery, or management with radiation therapy.


Thyroid and breast adenomas are more commonly seen in women than in men. The development of a thyroid adenoma increases as an individual gets older, but few of these tumors ever develop into malignant or cancerous growths. These generally remain small, and few people rarely have any symptoms from them; if large adenomas develop, the individual can suffer from neck-related symptoms, such as difficulty or pain when swallowing. Breast adenomas typically develop in pre-menopausal women, and are often discovered in a self-examination. Like other types of adenomas, there is rarely any pain accompanying these benign tumors, and surgical removal is usually not necessary if the lumps remain small.

Adenomas can also develop on the walls of the colon. These growths are fairly rare, and will on occasion turn cancerous if they grow greater than a centimeter across. Depending on the size, shape, and location of the growth, it may be treated with different procedures ranging from administration of anti-inflammatory medications to surgery.

Rarely, an adenoma can form in the liver. These types, known as hepatic adenomas, are typically large when they do form, and although they are not cancerous, the development of these tumors can present a danger to the patient. They are often removed, as they may cause internal bleeding and hemorrhage.

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