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For those diagnosed with fibroadenoma, did your fibroadenoma grow before your six-month follow-up?

Last May I noticed a lump in my right breast. It was the size of a pea. I had an ultrasound and the radiologist gave me a Birads 3 stating it was a fibroadenoma (two actually, one I couldn't feel but showed up on the ultrasound), and told me to come in 3 months for a follow-up. I went in August, again Birads 3, the fibroadenoma seemed stable. They told me to come in 6 months for another ultrasound.

After Christmas, I noticed that the fibroadenoma I could feel had grown a little. A few millimeters. In August it was 1.1 cm, now I think it's 1.5, maybe a little more. From the size of a pea to the size of a small bean. I called right away and made an appointment for the ultrasound one month earlier. I'm having the ultrasound tomorrow. But ever since I've noticed its growth, I've been freaking myself out. I found a few studies online that say that a small number of fibroadenomas will grow, but it's unclear if it's to be expected or not.

My radiologists never mentioned a biopsy because the lump is oval, movable, with clearly defined margins, and told me not to worry, it's not cancer.

But I can't stop myself from worrying. I'm a nervous wreck right now. Did any of your benign lumps grow? Is it normal?

I'm 38, and I never breastfed.

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Comments

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,158

    This is a bit of a different situation and I don't want to scare you, but I had a fibroadenoma diagnosis at 19. It was removed and biopsied and then that area was often irritated or mildly sore off and on for decades. I had two children and breastfed. All through those years, whenever I asked a doctor about bothersome things that would come up, they said it was likely scar tissue and not to worry. I stopped asking about it and unfortunately stopped getting mammograms too ( life got in the way, divorce, etc.). After menopause I noticed some changes in the area and just assumed it was the old scar tissue issue, if you will, and my aging breast structure. Whenever I considered seeing a doctor, I just figured they'd tell me the old nerve damage and scar tissue thing ( big mistake on my part). At 65, the area seemed a little larger and harder, but since it was the same area, I let it go and chalked it up to more aging, possible growth of fibroadenoma,etc. If this had happened anywhere else on my breasts or body, I would have gone to the doctor. I simply could not believe that that old "benign" fibroadenoma spot could turn into cancer.

    Well, at 65 I finally went to the doctor and was told immediately that it was likely cancer. I honestly couldn't believe it or let the idea in. I kept thinking the doctor didn't understand what I had explained about it having been a fibroadenoma from way back, etc. It took me 3 more months to go to a doctor again. This time I was prepared to hear the worst and did. Ultrasound and biopsy showed full on IDC that was "locally advanced" stage 3 breast cancer. They could still see the old original biopsy spot from when I was 19 ! I had mastectomy, and did radiation and chemo. It progressed and for my 70th birthday I got a new stage 4 diagnosis. I'm now 71 and still here, but oh, what I would have done differently if I had known and thought more about this over the years.

    Times are definitely different now for your age group, so there's not really much to compare between your situation and mine, except that, yes, you can get cancer at least in the immediate area of the fibroadenoma. Also I have read that fibroadenomas can grow, especially in younger women. I am betting that you "simply" have a fibroadenoma that is growing, but absolutely get it checked out and don't come close to going down my fatal path. Wishing you nothing but good luck with this!

  • rnjen
    rnjen Member Posts: 13

    I am 44 and a little over a year from breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. You should ask for an MRI to take a closer look at it if the ultrasound is still saying BIRADs 3. They can tell you that it is a fibroadenoma but really that can not be confirmed without a biopsy. You could skip asking for an MRI all together and just ask for a biopsy. I had a " fibroadenoma" which was confirmed to be IDC a year later after MRI biopsy. BIRADs 3 on MRI. Be your own advocate. I hope your ultrasound will give you some good information but I would push for better imaging or a biopsy to be sure. I caught my breast cancer at an earlier stage because I told my doctor who told me " you don't need your MRI I think everything is fine '' that yes I want an MRI to confirm that '' everything is fine '' Both my doctor and the radiologist called me after the biopsy results came back saying they were shocked that it was cancer because they were so sure it was a fibroadenoma. Wishing you the best.

  • sssiminel
    sssiminel Member Posts: 11

    Hi all! Thank you for your comments! I went and did the ultrasound, the radiologist gave me a Birads 4A and she found inflamed lymph nodes under both my armpits. She scheduled me for a biopsy next week. The worry continues.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,685

    @sssiminel, we're sorry you are here and worried, but glad you found us! We know it's hard to stay calm in these situations, but if it helps ease your mind while you wait for more tests to be done, we have an article dedicated to fibroadenomas on our site, where you can read, among other things: "Over time, a fibroadenoma may grow in size or even shrink and disappear." Here is the full article: Fibroadenoma

    We hope this helps! Good luck, and please, let us know what you learn tomorrow.

    The Mods

  • sssiminel
    sssiminel Member Posts: 11

    Thank you! Forgot to add that the fibroadenoma seemed to develop some vascularity, it had increased in size a bit, and started to have lobulated margins. It also went from oval to round. The radiologist said that it's common for this kind of benign lesions to be vascular. It's weird that in the previous ultrasounds it had no vascularity and no lobulated margins.

  • waitingaway
    waitingaway Member Posts: 17

    Hi @sssiminel , we are chatting on another thread. For what it's worth, the vascularity + increased size + lobulated margins + tall as it is wide (ie more round than oval) sounds like what I have, I am hoping that it is a weird fibroadenoma for me too…keep us posted!

  • sssiminel
    sssiminel Member Posts: 11

    @waitingaway Will do! I'll be having my results in one week!

  • mssoda101
    mssoda101 Member Posts: 25

    I don’t mean to scare you, but I’ve had two fibroadenoma’s (biopsy proven benign) and also a “fibroadenoma” that wasn’t. I went in and the radiologist told me she was totally comfortable watching my tumor for 6 months, but I told her I wanted a biopsy and it came back cancer. So ALWAYS advocate for yourself and you don’t know what it is till you COMPLETELY know. Get it biopsied which you did and I hope it comes back benign! Most biopsies are benign, so the odds are in your favor! I wish you the best ❤️

  • waitingaway
    waitingaway Member Posts: 17

    Thank you @mssoda101 , always appreciate the insight. Unfortunately my doctor called me today to advise that the preliminary pathology is breast cancer of an as yet undetermined subtype, but it is an invasive carcinoma and at least one lymph node is now involved. I will have the pathology results by the end of the week. Hoping you get better news @sssiminel and at least we are getting answers now and not waiting longer to start to get a plan in place.

  • sssiminel
    sssiminel Member Posts: 11

    @waitingaway I'm so sorry for your results. I hope everything works well with your treatment. I'm still waiting for my results, but I think I will get the same results as you. Our masses are very similar, even though mine is a bit smaller than yours. I'll update as soon as I get them.

  • mssoda101
    mssoda101 Member Posts: 25
    edited February 7

    @waitingaway Dang it…. I’m so sorry! I wish you had better news, but the good thing is that you stayed on top of it. I will say the waiting is the hardest part. Once all the tests are over you can focus on treatment and go from there… Try not to stress as it seems you’ve found it early, but I know that’s not easy. This will get better!! ❤️‍🩹

    @sssiminel I pray your results are benign!! ❤️

  • sssiminel
    sssiminel Member Posts: 11

    Hi all! Just got my results back, and it's a Phyllodes tumor. It's benign. I'll be having surgery in June to have it removed and analyzed. Wishing you all good luck on your treatment journey and thanks for all your support.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,685

    @sssiminel, we're super glad to hear this! Wishing you all the best with your upcoming surgery in June. If you need further support, don't hesitate to reach out. Take care!

    The Mods

  • sssiminel
    sssiminel Member Posts: 11

    Will do, thank you!