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Avatar universal

large, fast-growing fibrous mass with normal mammogram results

Over the last year and half, I have developed a rather large fibrous mass in my right breast. About 3 inches in diameter and very rough in texture.  

Had a suspicious mammo (baseline identified some calcifications) on the left breast 3 years ago, entered diagnosis and treatment, and eventually, we determined to just watch the mammos as the suspicious calcification area turned out to be too difficult to locate for the wire localization biopsy.

I'm 45, had my son in 2003, nursed him for just under two years. This lump did not appear until a year or more after nursing had stopped.

When the mass first appeared, I was not disturbed as I am used to having very lumpy fibrous breasts. However when I had some medical insurance last year, I determined to get it examined.  The primary care physician was concerned and ordered a mammogram.  As usual, nothing was clear due to the fibrous breast tissue.  An ultrasound also showed nothing determinable. The report came back to me that I had passed and all was normal.  Then, the insurance ended.

This mass is mobile, somewhat tender, and only affects the nipple appearance when I lift my arm by creating a ledge around the big rocky lump that drops around the nipple, loose skin where the big mass has risen away from that area.

From my reading, this would be either fibro adena (forgot the spelling) or phyllodes tumor, both of which tend toward being benign.  

How common is it for something half the size of my fist to appear in a year?  Why didn't they order an MRI, as suggested by the radiologist at the hospital where I received my ultrasound?  (Medicaid probably didn't cover it.)  

Other similar cases?

5 Responses
242527 tn?1292452740
Dear Sharoni:  A fibroadenoma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth. Fibrooadenomas are usually distinct on a mammogram or ultrasound and when aspirated - no fluid comes out. As long as the doctor is sure it is a fibroadenoma, there is no need to remove the lump. In 50% of the cases fibroadenomas will go away on their own within 5 years. In others, the life of a fibroadenoma is about 15 years. In teenagers - the tendency is not to remove fibroadenomas. In middle age women, the tendency is to remove the fibroadenomas to be sure they are, in fact, fibroadenomas.  So depending on the individual situation, putting the findings in context, a suspected fibroadenoma might be biopsied to be sure of what it is. An ultrasound cannot always make a diagnosis of fibroadenoma with certainty.  

A phyllodes tumor is a tumor that occurs only in the breast, and what causes it remains unknown. It is very rare--less than 1% of all beast tumors are classified as phyllodes tumors.  This type of tumor develops in the stroma (connective tissue) of the breast, in contrast to carcinomas, which develop in the ducts or lobules.  Phyllodes tumors vary in their aggressiveness and can be classified as benign or malignant.  Phyllodes tumors tend to be large--the average size is about 5 cm--and to grow very quickly.  These tumors do not typically cause any pain and are hard, round, and easy to feel.  Phyllodes tumors are typically removed with an excision.

Whether either of these conditions explain the lump you are feeling is impossible to determine via the internet, without evaluation.  Next steps would be determined by the clinical examination as well as the ultrasound and mammogram.  
492898 tn?1222247198
IBC, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, is another possibility. Of course I had that, so I am more aware of what that looks like.
is your nipple inverted, or inverting? Anyway, don't mean to scare you, and again, I had this cancer and that is why I bring it up. it does not show up on a mammogram often, and the size, and sticking out you describe seems suspicious to me. Kat
492898 tn?1222247198
PS: It would show up on an MRI, but in my case, the lymph nodes did not reveal anything suspicious and they turned out to be mostly cancerous.
Avatar universal
Hi Sharoni,    
     I actually had to look up what a Fibroadenoma is.  I found out it is the same as Fibro Cystic Disease.  I have it and I had many biopsies done to check them out.  They were solid masses and could not be aspirated.  Some were small and some were very large.  I had to have Bi-lateral Subcutaneous Mastectomies in the end because I had lumps in my breast from sugar pea size to large black olive size.  I had so much pain that I could not hold my 5 year old son.  If he came to me upset it hurt to hug him and console him. It got to where even wearing a bra or a nightgown was painful for me.  I found the lump on my left side to begin with.  (At that time I was unaware that breast tissue was not only in the breast but goes all the way to the side and up towards the arm pit area.)  

     I had two great surgeons who removed the first two and I was pleased.  I found out after the second biopsy that I was full of them and that worried me.  In reading up and learning about it through the surgeons and my Primary Care Physician the actual disease is hereditary.  It comes from one or the other side of the family.  In my case it came from my father’s side.  I have a cousin who had to have both her breasts removed and a male cousin who had to have the cysts removed from his chest as wellso it can hit either sex.   I have had three aunts die who had breast cancer and my mother has had a mastectomy done as well.  I was also told it was a hormonal thing.  They had just done an Oophorectomy on me to remove my tubes and ovaries and I was put on hormones.  I was 28 years old and scarred to death.  So they told me they were going to give me a pill to stop the hormone pill they just started me on.  I thought they had to be nuts and told them so.

     Thanks to my GYN he and all the doctors, the surgeons and family doctor, had a sit down and discussed my situation.  In the end the two that filled me in were the surgeon and my GYN.  They felt that I should see a plastic surgeon about mastectomies.  Now we are talking removing the breast of an otherwise healthy 28 year old mother.  Scared??? I was petrified!!!!!!  I went to one and he made me sick.  His smile was as plastic as his surgical procedures were.  I walked out on him.  Then the doctors sent me to Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.   The doctor talked to me in great lengths.  He had the ultrasounds and the mammograms to look at and then it was decision time. He told me what my options were.  I could have double mastectomies or live in pain the rest of my life.  At that time all I could think of was my son and holding him close and protecting him.  I chose the mastectomies and implants. He informed me that they would immediately put in Silicone Breast Implants.  I went along with it and it was the biggest mistake of my life.  

      Within two years I had two implants rupture in me, they didn't get all the silicone out from the first one and no one told me that the second one had ruptured until 9 years later when I found lumps on my lymph nodes.  My health deteriorated terribly and I was sick all the time. (I am now on permanent Disability.) I showed up with so many health problems it was unreal.  My family doctor had told me he didn't recommend the implants or the surgery and I didn't listen.  Well, I heard it the rest of the time he was my doctor.  He yelled at me, in a nice way, that I should never have had it done.  He  even used to tell me he should kick my butt for getting them put in. Yet if it weren't for him I would have been sicker and possibly died in less then a month that they were placed inside of me.

     About 20 years ago we found out my sister had the Fibro Cystic Disease too.  Now she has pre-cancerous cells from the same lumps.  Removal is rough too since it causes scar tissue and that too helps to create more lumps.  Now they test my sister every year for her situation, and once a year they do the Mamogram and an Ultrasound.

     I am suggesting that you have your doctor order a Breast MRI.  They are the best way to tell what is going on. The Breast MRI will show more then a Mamogram does and more then they will see from a Ultrasound.   I have gotten them for years now and I am faithful about it.  I still have the implants and have gotten much sicker, but they are going to be removed before the year is out.  

     Please do not let them just sit there and check once a year.  Have them do a Breast MRI and then a follow up Ultrasound or Sonogram.  That is to be the normal procedure anytime there is any type of lump found in a woman's breast.  I also want you to know that it is a Federal Law the all records and films taken on a woman's breast are to be kept at the hospital and never destroyed.  To make sure that they are saved have them put the films on a CD for you and keep them at home.  I have done this for all of my
X-Rays and  MRI's are as well.  I have them in a safe place and protected so I never have to lose them.  I can also take them to the any doctor I choose to see for my conditon.

     Good luck with this matter and God bless you and your family.  

Avatar universal
   Just to let you know the cysts can turn into cancer.  My cousins did and yours could too.  My sisters is now showing signs of Pre Cancerous Cells, so that tells you that they can turn into cancer.  No matter what the doctor may say, they can become cancerous and that means even more trouble down the road.  joyshow
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