Fibroadenoma diagnosis, age and oestrogen.

Hi everyone - this is my first post. I had a mammogram, ultrasound and core biopsy last week and was due to go back to the clinic for my results today. I got a phone call early today to say I didn’t need to go as the results showed I had a fibroadenoma and would need no treatment. I will be sent an appointment to go back in 2 months for them to monitor the size.

It was the breast cancer nurse who called and I asked her how big it was - she said she didn’t know. Said that there was absolutely nothing to worry about and I should research it on the internet.

Now I’ve researched all I keep seeing is how it’s a young persons problem and that in older women they tend to remove them. Also that it’s oestrogen related (and hence why it affects younger women). So, seeing as I’m not being given the opportunity to ask these questions at the clinic I thought I’d post on here in the hope some of you could help.

Firstly, I’m 47…not old but I appear to be old for a fibroadenoma…or am I mistaken?
Secondly, two years ago I had a total hysterectomy - uterus, cervis, ovaries…so if a Fibroadenoma is related to oestrogen how come I have one? I’m not even on HRT!

I was tearfully happy when I got the call but now and concerned - am I worrying about nothing?

Sorr this has been quite lengthy but would appreciate any words of wisdom right now.


Hi motts,

I’m sorry I have no experience of fibroadenoma, but do you have the BCN’s number? if you do phone her back and ask her to give you more details, if you don’t have a contact for her, phone the helpline on here. You need to for your own piece of mind.
Hopefully someone will come along soon and give you more answers, take care xx

Hi Motts,

What a turn up! I too have been diagnosed with “in keeping with a fibroadenoma”

I am 43, had never heard of them before, until my recent round of breast issues.

I started with pain under my arm and in my upper arm, back in September, finally went to the GP in January, she referred me to breast clinic, where I had the usual round of tests, MMG, US, FNA and a core biopsy. My mass never showed up on MMG, it showed up on US.

Last weeks, I went for my results, the surgeon stated “Good news, it is a fibroadenoma” When I asked to look at the path report, it said “In keeping with a fibroadenoma” birad rating 3" The surgeon told me she was leaving it, I have done enough research, spoken with enough women to know a little about these little funny things that are classed as a “young woman’s lump” I told the surgeon that due to my age, the anxiety of leaving it in, far outweighed the surgery issue. Five minutes into the conversation, she had her diary out and was booking me for surgery.

What I do know about FA’S is this. Yes they are attributed to oestrogen, which is why common in young women who have high levels of oestrogen and if one takes the combined pill, (which is a risk factor in breast cancer itself) then a woman’s levels are of course higher. They are benign, but cancer can develop within them, like cancer can develop in any other tissue.

It could well have been something you have had for a long time, without knowing about it, the lifespan of the fibroadenomas are approx 15 years, and they are inclined to disappear, which is why in a younger woman, the watch and wait approach is used, due to unnecessary surgery etc!

For a woman your age, (I was not offered the removal, I had to ask) the benefits of removal again outweigh leaving them in, can hide cancer in later years, as we age our risks of contracting breast cancer increase, so better to have as little obstructions to successful screening as possible!

You’re not too old, at all, however, I am not surprised at the response you have had from the BCN, mine was fantastic, it was the surgeon who was sniffy about it all, obviously thinking that I was over reacting, however, no, I don’t want it in me, on a slide in a lab is where it belongs! While benign, it is still a tumour that grows and they can grow, into giant ones, however, as your oestrogen levels are non existent, then I can’t state if yours will grow.

If you are anxious about this, I would take it up with your GP, tell him/her and ask the clinic to look at it again.

When my surgeon reluctantly got her diary out, she examined me and stated that she could feel another lump, so they were fitting a wire to ensure they would take the right lump out!

Mu underarm pain is chronic, my shoulder pain the same, my upperarm pain is ongoing and once the lump is removed, I am hoping it will go or that’s another issue.

I hope my experience helps, but if causing you this much anxiety, I would ask for removal and you should be offered that given your age and I am sure your doctor will be able to tell you the size of it, mine is 11mm by 3mm!


Hi Motts

I too am 47 - i had a fibranoma removed in january ( but the surgeon did agree that it was a good idea to get it out for a final histology given my age - but saying that i think its commoner than i first thought in women in their 40’s) - mine measured 16mm and right from the first US i was told its size -
unfortunately i was also been told that there was some dcis cells present attached to the fibranoma when they examnined it after taking it out (non invasive ductal cancer) - so in my case i am glad to have opted for removal (but this outcome was obviously only my experience and not the norm ) otherwise i might not have found the dcis.
BUT its got to be your decision, all i would say is make sure the decision is informed and that you are happy with it - i do think sommer43 has a point though when she says the best place for a lump is on a slide in a path lab.
best wishes

The burning question for me and it sounds like it is for you, Motts, is why, at your age and mine, have we presented with a lump that is far more common in younger women, at our age.

Also, breast awareness is far more common today than when we were younger, I was never told to check my breasts, until I was well into my 30’s when I had a breast infection, with discharge, and I was not offered any checks, only anti-biotics. So I never knew of dense breasts, fibro-cystic breasts, or the many breast cancers that are out there. Any benign issue, was always addressed as a fatty lump!

After all I have learned, over the last six weeks, I am ashamed to say I knew very little, and I do think that is the case with my generation, never, had I heard of fibroadenomas… Speaking with my friends, who are my age, neither have they. That proves to me, how far we have become with breast cancer and being breast aware, and many more younger women are much more aware than I ever was, because their parents are much more aware.

I know that I will be passing this on to my daughter!

hi everyone

every time i see these post should i have surgery shouldnt i have surgery i scream at the screen " get it out "as sommer says these are lumps for younger women
mine was found when i was 49/50 they dont know how long i had it for it was measured at 1.2 cm in jan 2010 in march 2010 it had grown to 1.7cm they took a leave it approach in november 2011 it had grown to 4.5cm and had reached the surface overnight with sharp pains as it pressed on nerves as it grew they operated to remove it and 3 weeks later low and behold it had regrown to 4.2cm
I hope and pray that all of yours stay as fibros mine is a rare case i suppose i always like to be different but worried says hers is hiding dcsi sommer says hers has a second lump and mine was hiding a very rare aggressive breast cancer what more can i say .
ok i lost my breast along with the chest muscle my lump in in the lab were it belongs and i am alive and kicking which is how i want it to be for a long while yet i am not ready to meet my maker just yet !!!

Hi Lizzy,

I also believe that they should come out, benign tumours, if we had on the brain, it would come out! I post on two breast cancer forums, both with areas for benign conditions and I can’t help but think that while I am confident any benign growth is benign, there is some sort of connection there, all changes in breasts signify something, and there are many, many women, who have recommended to me to have my mass removed, because of their experiences. Why I come to these places, to gain the experience of women in my position who can give me their experiences, I have the medical ones, why I go to my doctor.

There is no clinical evidence of what causes breast cancers, only risk factors, so why would I add to the risks already there, by leaving something in that could add to the risks? All us women get who have been diagnosed with benign conditions is “Good news, it is not cancer”

I do know that fibroadenomas are not a risk of developing breast cancer, I do know that fibroadenomas can not turn cancerous, however, I do know that were I 20 years younger, I would happily wait and watch what happens, given what I know today!

Your story makes me sit up, and while it is rare, it is not rare to you, as it happened to you, it is those stories that make certain, a woman of my age, should have a benign tumour removed.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my original post - it certainly appears to be an emotive subject…a surprisingly ‘grey’ area.

I have a follow up appointment in 8 weeks time and I think this time I’ll get to speak to someone and have my questions ready. It’s hard I guess to push for surgery when everyone seems hell bent on leaving well along. I am overjoyed to be told it’s a benign condition but at the end of the day I still have a lump and I shouldn’t.

I’ll be well armed with my info when I go!

thanks again

M x

Hi Motts,

Glad you came back, and eight weeks is not too long to wait. I first started my journey six weeks ago, from knowing absolutely nothing about fibroadenomas, to what I now know, in many respects it has taught me a lot.

You’re absolutely correct, it is a lump, that doesn’t need to be there!

It looks like these posts are old so I am not sure anyone will see this reply. I am 45 and was also diagnosed recently with a fibroadenoma. 6 months ago it was noted on an ultra sound as a different diagnosis. Last week I had to go for another mamogram and ultrasound and it was diagnosed a probably a fibroadenoma. I am not sure yet what to do yet since two different diagnosis and radiologist said I could watch for 6months.

Hi Gem68

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums. Yes this is an old thread and by adding to it you will have brought it back to the top of the list, but could I suggest you start a new thread of your own then it will be up to date.

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

im 53 and hav a fb in my left boob and bc in the right! as far as im concerned - having had a wle and full node clearance 11 days ago the fb can stay there! commonly known as breast mouse. mine can nestle foir as long as it likes. Oh and the lady who wanted to know hwreer her oestrogen was coming from - its fat cells. body fat is the third ovary!

QD x

Hi Gem68 ~
I have a fibroadenoma. I was diagnosed 3wks ago.
I have always done self exams, but never even felt this. I went to my Doc for the yearly, She did an exam & didn’t even feel it herself.
I then went for the routine mamo and there it was… 1.8cm… a week later I had an ultra sound, then I was told that I needed a biopsy. I was very anxious & scared. for a month I didn’t know if I had breast cancer. That’s a long time…
My advice to you is this, “When in doubt - Get it out!”
I could not go through life knowing that is inside of me, possibly wreaking hoavoc & destroying my health.
If any surgeon tells you that you can leave it there, go to another surgeon.

Is it possible to have fb at the age of 46? There is a hard lump in my right breast and giving pain since last few days. 3 yrs back i hv undergone hysteroctomy , removing uterus only. It was on account of clots and prolonged bleeding and nothing else.

Hello everyone. I recently got diagnosed with Fribroadnoma Breast Disease. I underwent surgery last week to remove the largest non cancerous tumor of 11.5cm. In addition I am coverd from above the nipple in these masses - both scatterd and beaded. Now - as far as I know the breast surgeon removed what he could. At 24 my question is what drives these masses? Can they be controlled to a degree…in terms of the stalling of the growth? The doctors have a questioned and concerned case only because do they rarely see an individual of my age that has this…little alone has these tumors that grow in an excel rate. I’m in a way a little stuck because Im not sure where to turn to etc. I’d love to hear your feedback…advice…etc. I’m so glad I came across this forum - so much detail…support and answers.