Misdiagnosed Fibroadenoma?

Hi everyone. This is a first for me, I don’t usually post on forums but could really do with some support / reassurance around my current situation.

Around 4 years ago, at age 24, I noticed the first small lump in my breast which I had checked out at the time, and after an ultrasound was told it was likely just a fibroadenoma. Popped it to the back of my mind until recently. The original lump has tripled in size, it is now really quite large and irregularly shaped, and there is also a new, smaller, second lump to the right of the original one. There were also what we assumed were some swollen lymph nodes in my underarms, so I had an urgent referral from my GP and had my appointment at the clinic about 7 weeks ago.

At the clinic, I was given an ultrasound and told again that it was just fibroadenomas. The nurse did speak to the surgeon about potentially taking a biopsy but they decided it was not needed. At that appointment, it was decided that I would have surgery to remove the fibroadenomas due to the size of the original one. I still await a date for this.

Since then, the lumps under my arms have remained swollen. For the last 3 weeks my neck glands have been quite noticeably swollen but without any obvious sign of illness or infection, as I would usually expect. I also have been much more tired than usual, however I do suffer from Sleep Apnoea and use a CPAP, so tiredness always gets put down to a bad night on the machine. I called the GP yesterday to check on the swollen glands but was advised to wait another 3 weeks and see if they remain swollen.

I appreciate that at the age of 28, the likelihood of it being anything more sinister is really slim, but I feel a bit uneasy that no biopsy has ever been carried out to confirm 100%. Along with what I think are swollen lymph nodes under my arms, and now the swollen neck glands, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps my lumps are not fibroadenomas at all.

Can anyone provide any advice on what they think I should do, or am I worrying myself sick over “what ifs”?

Hi Becky

I’m so sorry you’re in this position but at least you are now in safe hands. I learned from a conversation with my GP that there is a distinctive feel to a breast cancer tumour so doctors and specialists can often tell from their examination what’s what. I had a fibroadenoma removed in my 30s. I just had a manual examination, followed by a mammogram. It had grown to over 5 cm by the time I had surgery.

I would say trust your team. You are adding together various symptoms, all of which may be present in breast cancer but none of which mean you do have it. Your fibrous tissue will be tested automatically after surgery so it’s highly unlikely something would go undetected.

Were you given a breast care nurse you could contact? Speaking to them might reassure you that it’s all ok. Alternatively I’d suggest you ring the nurses’ helpline at the number above. They are excellent and may be able to reassure you or help you work out what questions need asking. It dos sound like you are having to deal with a lot at the same time!

Wishing you all the best 

Jan x


Hi Becky, sorry you are having to deal with this uncertainty. 

Obviously I don’t want to worry you but I think it’s best to keep questioning your concerns. I was told my lump was just a fibroadenoma and I pushed for biopsies which confirmed cancer. I was 32 at diagnosis. 

If they had confirmed it through biopsies I’d let it go but there are occasions when cancer mimics fibros and mine did just that. I don’t think they can say 100% without doing biopsies. 

I suggest you go back to your GP and tell them you were unhappy. Maybe they can refer you to a different hospital? Where you should definitely request biopsies. 

I hope you get it sorted and like you say, it’s probably nothing but I think the tests need to be done . 

Pips xx