Benign fibroadenoma

Hi, first post so bear with me!
3 years ago I had a normal mammogram and US and a lump was found to be just thickening. Just recently I have noticed a lump on the other breast that felt completely different to the other lump. Mammogram and US again showed nothing, much to the surprise of the radiologist & my consultant, who both said they were expecting to see something sinister from how the lump felt. I then had a FNA and have just been back for those results and it has come back as a benign fibroadenoma. Yes, this should be reassuring but all I keep thinking is that the aspiration was such a small amount and they can’t 100% confirm that it’s benign with a core biopsy because as nothing showed up on US they have nothing to be guided by.
I do have BC in the family and they have said I can have it removed if I want.
I don’t want to seem like a hypochondriac having unnecessary surgery if I really don’t need it and taking up hospital time of someone who actually has been diagnosed with cancer, but I also don’t want to be forever worrying knowing that it’s still there.
Any replies or similar experiences would be appreciated!!!

Any help would be appreciated!!

Hi, I can’t really help you but if it were me, I would have it out, that way the pathologist will look at it. Hope somebody along soon 2 help you x

Hi, i too have a family history of breast cancer. Four years ago i had a small lump in my R breast which was a benign Fibroadenoma. (Nothing on mammo but found on core biopsy). I was told i could have it removed if wanted but that there was no risk in leaving it be. i was so relieved that it wasn’t cancer, & was reassured about leaving it so didn’t opt for surgery. Two years later i had a slight firmness in the sane area but this turned out to be extensive DCIS and multiple invasive deposits so i had to have a mastectomy. The Consultant said there was no link between them but i can’t help feeling that it was indicative of changes going on & perhaps if they had biopsied around it they would have found DcIS.I had a 7x5cm area of DCIS which i can’t believe grew in less than 2 yrs.
It’s a really hard position to be in but with hindsight i wish i had had mine removed. If you are going to keep worrying about it then perhaps it would be better to have it removed? Rosie

Hello katmitch,

Without sounding like a scaremonger I have similar feelings to Rosie on this one. Similar feelings which are not backed up with current medical theory or practise in this country plus also another argument for removing them now.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with fibroadenoma after asking for a lump to be checked. Core biopsy confirmed the was no cancer. I was told that they are not removed unless “causing problems”, and that it might grow or shrink over time.

One year ago I started to notice that there was a significant increase in bulk, although not worrying it was eventually checked out in August. The result showed that there we now 3 fibro and 2 cysts. I felt very stupid for letting things go this far! it was the smallest fibro which was IDC, not the oldest. Like you Rosie I can’t help thinking that any change in breast tissue is an alarm bell.

I asked for all 5 structures to be taken out during my WLE,and, in the end it was agreed to, although I did have tonight for it a bit, even on the morning oft surgery!

Good luck, hope you get the answers you need.

Carolyn

I too was told in 2006 I had fibroadenoma after an ultrasound, as I was 33 no biopsy was done as they didn’t think it would be cancerous. Now 5 years on after feeling a lump under my arm I have been told that both lumps are cancer and am receiving treatment, when I asked the oncologist why I was told it was a fibroadenoma he said we may have got it wrong in 2006, so please, if they are offering to take it out, do so. I asked on a few occasions if they would take it out as it was painful and growing and they said no!

Oh dear Saraf,

At least I got a ‘beeping’ biopsy back then! It was the pain I was in that made me push for removal. Initially I was told it was ‘hormonal’ and ‘normal’. Perhaps so but i was in significant pain at least 3 weeks of the month.

I hope your treatment goes well, good luck with it all.

Carolyn x

Whilst not wishing to cause alarm, I would say fibroadenomas should be removed. I had one measuring 46mm and all the test results came back clear. It couldn’t be seen but it could be felt and I just hated the fact it was there,so the surgeon agreed it was better to remove it. It was removed 3 weeks later and had been hiding an aggressive 33mm tumour. I had to go back into hospital to have my lymph nodes removed and the cancer was found in 1 out of 22. I had chemo, radiotherapy, chemo then Herceptin. Thankfully that was 5 1/2 years ago now and I am fit and well.

Thankyou so much everyone for your comments. I did get a date through to have the lump removed but unforunately I had to postpone it as the week before I was due to have 6 teeth removed and two weeks after I was due to move house so didn’t think I could cope with everything! I will now get in touch with my consultant and get it rebooked.
Thanks again and best wishes to you all xx

I have a “suspected” fibroadenoma! Reading this is scary, however, I have been recalled to the consultant as inadequate cells have been taken from the FNA!

Best wishes to all you ladies, I gain so much from reading your stories!

I’m worried now ive i have finished chemo and rads cancer was in my left breast follow up mammo showed benign fibroadenoma in right breast and was told very small and nothing to worry about and i would be scanned again in 1 year should i have quesioned this?

I am raising this thread again, due to a conversation I had with my GP today!

I have what is known as a complex fibraodenoma and many people both here and in the US state that fibroadenomas do not pose a risk for cancer.

I am not convinced! Because FA’S are common in younger women, and breast cancer is rare in younger women, this is the common thread that many surgeons go along with and send women home. Had I not had a GP with a beady eye, (and there is still is no proof)I would have gone away with a light heart and convinced all was fine and I didn’t have to worry. I have another two clear to the naked eye, masses in the same breast which I had my complex fibroadenoma removed and at age 43, I have learned and from reading many, many medical papers, and the gut feeling when my surgeon stated “Good news, it is a fibroadenoma, go home” yet when I asked her for a removal, she got her diary out! Which immediately made me sit up and think.

I am now seeing a different consultant, as I have never felt any relief, two masses that she knew about were ignored.

Hello ladies

I just thought I would share my experiences. I had my first fibroadenoma at the age of 15 and have had 3 more during the intervening years. All were removed no questions asked. A more recent lump turned out to be a benign phyllodes tumour that required two surgeries as they are more aggressive than fibroadenoma and CAN become cancerous. My surgeon was always happy to be guided by my decisions and has always obliged my requests for surgery. I am convinced that there is no link between fibroadenoma and cancer but always preferred to get the lumps checked and removed to be on the safe side, convinced my luck would one day run out which it did in November when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I would recommend getting any lumps checked and insist that they are removed if you are not happy leaving them. Any surgeon worth their salt should be happy to do this for you but you may need to be persistent.

During tests to confirm my cancer it was discovered that I have 2 more fibroadenoma in my left breast. I can’t feel them so am content to leave them for the time being but will investigate removal if they get any larger once my cancer treatment is complete. The reason I acted quickly regardig the cancerous lump was that it didn’t feel anything like the fibroadenomas I’d previously had.

Hope all goes well, fingers crossed x

Hi Mrs Foxglove

Could you explain the difference in the feeling between the cancerous lump and the fibroadenoma ones?

I never knew I had one until my referral to the clinic… Two larger masses which have appeared, I cannot compare to the one removed, because I didn’t feel it. They are hard, not mobile, tender, am peri menopausal, and am due a period around about now, which is not happening, no sore breasts this time, like I usually have, but a different pain in my upper arm…

In all cases my fibroadenomas seem to have presented classically - they’ve all been quite mobile when pressed (which is why they’re sometimes referred to as breast mice) and have showed up on ultrasound as very smooth and regular in shape. My GP has done FNA’s on various of them to establish whether they could be fluid-filled cysts but has referred me on when it was obvious that they were solid and the breast-care unit has always used US and core biopsy for diagnostics.

The cancerous lump felt different in that it wasn’t mobile at all and was actually much flatter, more like a thickening of tissue than a distinct lump. It was also in a different part of the breast. The fibroadenomas were all in the soft tissue, exclusively in my left breast. I also had a benign phyllodes tumour removed from my right breast some years ago. The cancer was actually attached to the chest wall just to the right of centre, which is why I found it so easily. I had my first mammogram as part of the diagnostics and it didn’t show because of the location so I’ve really been quite lucky picking it up when I did.

Of course the problem is that we’re all different and these lumps and bumps don’t present the same in everyone - I have quite lumpy breasts naturally and it’s sometimes difficult to tell what’s right and what’s not. I’ve never taken any chances though, and always had everything checked f I’ve been at all suspicious. None of my lumps have caused me any pain but some have been uncomfortable if they’ve been a bit larger and I’ve knocked or squashed myself somehow.

Hope this is of some help - I know how frightening it can be and worrying about over or under reacting to every little thing can be exhausting but at the end of the day it’s our health we’re talking about and we should be entitled to be taken seriously and our wishes considered when deciding on treatment.

Keep vigilant ladies!

Emma x

Thanks for that Mrs F,

I too feel that this one is very different, flatter and not so much as a lump, but a mass. At first I thought it was from the excisional, just swelling, but that has all healed nicely and I am left with this mass, that can be seen without me lifting my arms, simply standing there, the most bizarre thing!

Will wait and see what clinic say on Monday, have got a new consultant now, so hopefully I can feel somewhat relieved that I am being seen, after my previous consultant discharged me after the excisional even after telling me there was a second mass!