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Topic: Dense Fibrograndular Tissue

Forum: Benign Breast Conditions —

A safe place to worry for members who have not been diagnosed with breast cancer, but have concerns about their breasts.

Posted on: Feb 10, 2019 09:33AM

KMAR85 wrote:

Hello all! (And thank you in advance for any insight you provide!)

I found a lump about 8 or so weeks before my yearly GYN visit. My doctor felt it at the time too, and while she wasn’t overly concerned—she did order a breast ultrasound to make sure.

So I go to do that last week; they also did a mammogram—they said it was standard if you’re over 30 (I’m 33), have never had one and where are breast concerns. So we do all that, and when done the tech said she was going to ice the images to the in-house radiologist, and she’d come back and tell me what he said.

So about 20 min later, her and the radiologist came in. He is at first talking about how it couldn’t really be distinguished on imaging, but it may be an area of dense breast tissue. So he’s asking me some questions about it and begins to palpate the area. And he’s not showing concern until he gets to the area of concern and his eyes kinda pop up and he goes “oh, that definitely feels different there” and he grabs the ultrasound wand and stars doing that for a while. And then after doing that for a while, he was like “yea, I think it’s just extra tissue. So as long as you don’t have any new issues. Keep your yearly GYN appts, continue self checks and we’ll see you at 40”.

As soon as I left I regretted not asking more questions because he did not seem overly confident in his diagnosis. A friend of mine said she would for sure ask for a second opinion since this radiologist didn’t seem overly sure. I’ve not received the report yet, so I’m hoping it has more definitive terms in there to put me at ease. Another friend recommended just seeing if they could see me at that imaging office and better explain the results. What do y’all think? I’m planning on asking my GYN if based on everything she’d recommend a second opinion, or a follow up sooner than a year.

My question was—do y’all know if the dense fibroglandular tissue is unmistakeable on imaging or can it look like other conditions? Because had he looked at the original images and been like “oh yea, that’s for sure extra tissue” then I wouldn’t be concerned. But he wasn’t satisfied with the first set of images, came back to do his own and even then did the ultrasound for a while before he came to that conclusion.

Thank y’all!

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Feb 10, 2019 02:36PM Moderators wrote:

Dear KMAR85,

We are sorry for what brings you here but glad that you reached out. While you are waiting for some responses check out this page with links to other areas of interest for those who have imaging questions. The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Feb 10, 2019 04:35PM Bheg79 wrote:

Hi KMAR85,

I had a lumpy area/area of thickening for over a year that they kept telling me was just extra tissue - unfortunately mine was not - it wasn’t until I saw a completely different radiologist that actually ordered a biopsy and it was cancer - not trying to scare you but in hindsight I wish I would’ve got a second opinion sooner - I’m 38 - hopefully yours is just extra tissue! Xox

Dx 3/27/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 4/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 6/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/18/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/28/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 10, 2019 09:04PM - edited Feb 10, 2019 09:55PM by KMAR85

Hi Bheg79,

I hate that yours ended up being cancer and that it wasn't detected at first! I pray that you are on the road to recovery! Thank you so much fo you're response. Between the concern I already had, and now your information/experience—I'm fairly sure that I am going to ask for a second opinion. Thank you so much, again!

Best wishes!!

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Feb 12, 2019 07:53PM KMAR85 wrote:

just as an update—I got the official report

-heterogeneous dense breast tissue

-asymmetrical increase of fibroglandular tissue in area of concern

-palpable nodular area in area of concern.

Radiologist reporter these are all benign findings, but did recommend me to have annual mammograms now. (I’m 33, and don’t have a family history of breast cancer, so I’m not sure why

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Feb 14, 2019 03:01PM LillyDuff wrote:


Saw this thread and really glad you are being proactive!! I wished I found this site before my cancer diagnosis.

The following is my personal experience with a fibroadenoma diagnosis and also just my personal opinions.

Early detection with mammography failed me in 2016 as I had dense breasts and a presumed "fibroadenoma" per ultrasound (my request) where no biopsy was recommended at the time. I went another year for that "yearly mammogram" and still nothing showed up. My doctor didn't feel the need to order another ultrasound the next year and told me that clinical exam felt normal. (I should have pushed for another ultrasound. I just didn't know...) My bouncy lumpy fibroadenoma changed one day to a rock hard lump five months after my last "normal" mammogram. During my biopsy, finally, when I knew in my heart it had to be cancer, the Radiologist kind of mumbled on her way out the door that "maybe we should have biopsied that last time."(14 months earlier) The worst thing to hear while on the table facing a cancer diagnosis. Even the day of my biopsy when the clip was placed in the area of concern via ultrasound, the unilateral mammogram to confirm the clip placement etc.STILL did not show the tumor!!!! It's like it was invisible in mammography but did visualize in ultrasound.Then the MRI I had after biopsy to determine extent of disease not only showed the tumor, but numerous satellite lesions. It looked like fireworks went off in my breast!!! I had no idea that was the case and mammography showed NOTHING!!!!

The Radiologist mentioned that she couldn't dictate the mammogram during biopsy as normal because at that point, we knew where the lump was, so she had to leave the mammography report as "incomplete" BI-RADS 0 needed ultrasound to confirm, which the biopsy was via ultrasound. That was her way around the reading. So, who knows how long my tumor(s) were brewing in me? I never missed a mammogram appointment and had them each year on my dense breasts! Each year, my report was normal, but did mention dense breast tissue but did not recommend more imaging just mentioned follow up with clinical exams and yearly mammography. That's it.

Would it be too much for the Radiologists to add one extra sentence on a report to recommend additional imaging due to dense breast tissue? I know that is the case now in some states but not all. This seriously needs to change and I'm surprised it's still not a requirement in all states. So very sad! How many patients fall through the cracks? (Please take note, ladies!!!)

Needless to say, if I could turn back time, I would have demanded an ultrasound with each mammogram due to my dense breast tissue. I just didn't know to keep asking for it. I would have paid cash for an ultrasound as well!!!! My dense breasts were a hassle all my life and I always wondered if those lumps would turn out to be a problem. Sure enough, they were ticking time bombs.No history of BC in my family. No risk factors other than dense breast tissue. My genetic screening was clean. All normal.

Now, I have to live with worrying about a recurrence. Not fun. :(

Dx 4/25/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/15/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 5/16/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 5/16/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 11/14/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 1/25/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 7/18/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 11/16/2018 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Surgery Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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