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Thought fibroadenoma but really BC, anyone?

ADM81 Member Posts: 1
edited January 2017 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

Just curious as to how many of you had doctors that were really nonchalant and told you your mass was a fibroadenoma, only to find out they were wrong and it was cancer?


  • indenial
    indenial Member Posts: 125
    edited June 2013

    I discovered my lump in August 2012. Watched to see if it would go away with my next menstrual cycle, but it didn't. Told my doctor who said it was probably a cyst (before even examining me or knowing my family history!) and seemed totally unconcerned. Had monthly appointments with doc for other issues and brought up the lump every appointment but he wasn't worried at all, never sent me for a mammo or anything.

    January 2013 I finally faced reality, knew in my heart that something wasn't right, and requested to have the lump tested. Went for an ultrasound and the radiology doc was called in right away but remained calm & unconcerned. He said it was probably a benign fibroadenoma and we could just watch it & come back in 6 months to see if it grew. He also gave me the option of having a biopsy immediately instead. I opted for the biopsy, and it turned out to be cancer.

    I will say that althought the radiology doc appeared so calm, I also got the sense that he knew it was likely to be cancer and really wanted me to have the biopsy but didn't want to alarm me so presented it as an "option." He seemed to be counting on me choosing to have the immediate biopsy & I wonder how he would have reacted if I'd chosen to watch & wait, because I felt he was really trying to gently push me into the immediate biopsy even though he was so nonchalant. 

  • Fishin_princess33
    Fishin_princess33 Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2013

    I am wondering the same thing and thats why I'm on here today too. I'm 33 and found a small (2-3mm) lump last september and the (ancient) radiologist looked at me and said you have no history, factors, and it looks like it could be a FA or a Interductal Pappiloma. He referred me to the surgeon who was maybe 30 yrs old and she convinced me its nothing. Sure ok. Im sure there is such a thing as FA's that arent hiding any kind of cancer at all, but then you hear of many many people saying they were told it was this then its that. I went in for my follow up on friday and its almost tripled in size to 8-9mm.  At least this time I had a different Radiologist who says if it was me Iwould just have it removed.  :)  makes me feel btter.  Now  I have an appt with the surgeon and hopefully once its out and biopsied I will have answers and feel 100 % better.

  • Member Posts: 1,435
    edited June 2013

    ADM, my fibroadenomas were fibroadenomas.  If you only ask to hear about situations where something thought to be a fibroadenoma turned out to be something else, you will hear from the 10 out of 500 women who had that happen.... and the other 490 women won't respond (most of them aren't here anyway - women with benign conditions don't usually stick around here).  So as someone who had a fibroadenoma that was just a fibroadenoma (two of them, actually), I thought that I would respond.

    Fishing_princess, you said "Im sure there is such a thing as FA's that arent hiding any kind of cancer at all"... YES, that would almost every fibroadenoma!!!!

    Fibroadenomas are benign.  There are however three risks associated with fibroadenomas:

    - Fibroadenomas are made up of glandular breast tissue and stromal (connective) tissue, i.e. the same stuff that is in normal breast tissue.  So just as breast cancer can develop within any other area of breast tissue, breast cancer can develop within a fibroadenoma. It doesn't happen often but there are rare cases where a fibroadenoma is found to contain an area of breast cancer.

    - What is thought to be a fibroadenomas might turn out to be a Phyllodes turmor.  Fibroadenomas are very common and phyllodes tumors are very rare; their appearance on films and even their pathology from a needle biopsy are very similar. Phyllodes tumors can be benign, border-line or malignant. 

    - A large fibroadenoma might be obstructing the view on the a mammogram, and there could be breast cancer in the breast tissue that's behind the fibroadenoma.

    Fibroadenomas are the most common lump in younger women.  Younger women also have only a very low risk of breast cancer.  So when a fibroadenoma is diagnosed in a young woman - teens or early 20s - the likelihood that it would be anything more serious is extremely small.  Often if the ultrasound imaging is very clear, a core needle biopsy is not even recommended.  The fibroadenoma can be left in place; over time there is a good chance that it might reduce in size on it's own.

    Once you are older, your risk of breast cancer increases and your likelihood of developing a fibroadenoma goes down. Misdiagnosis is still very rare but it's a greater possibility as one gets older so many surgeons err on the side of caution and recommend removal of fibroadenomas for women in their 40s or older.

    For women in those in-between years - mid-20s to 40 - a core needle biopsy is usually recommended to confirm the diagnosis of a fibroadenoma.

    ADM, how old are you.  And when you say that your doctor is nonchalant, is he just not concerned that this might be cancer or has he suggested that a needle biopsy isn't required?

  • LexiGirl33931
    LexiGirl33931 Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2014

    I am in the midst of trying to get a firm diagnosis for a 1.8cm mass found in right breast. I've been told to expect the worst, that it is a bi-rads 4a, that it is a bi-rads 5, that pathology is negative and mass is likely a fragmented fibroadenoma, that the mass may have been missed entirely on biopsy, that biopsy samples were viable. Now scheduled for excisional breast biopsy tomorrow morning. Surgeon appears to concur with pathologist and says it is likely a very old fibroadenoma and the fragmentation is due to it breaking down because of its age. I will be very happy to finally get a firm test result, but am very nervous about what that result may be.

  • Traveling-girl
    Traveling-girl Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2017

    Beesie, your response was (again) very helpful. I was first told I had an irregular cyst and now another doctor said it looks like two fibroadenomas fused together, accounting for the irregular shape. I'm getting a biopsy done soon and trying not to is helpful to hear rational statistics as I'm researching all the horror stories out there