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Forum Name: Breast Cancer

Question: Multiple breast tumors


 KC and Tony - Tue May 13, 2003 1:10 pm

Hi, I am a 24 year old, healthy woman. I have a 5 year old daughter, she was breastfed. I started my period when I was 11 years old. I took birth control pills for about three years, the depo shot for 6 months. I have had 3 tumors removed from my breasts, 2L, 1R. I have another one in the L breast. I have seen my surgeon and I will have a mammogram, u/s, and fna later this week. I will also see an oncologist in June for a 2nd opinion. I have been diagnosed with stromal fibrosis. Is it a great risk to leave it there? Can this turn into cancer? If I decide not to have surgery, what are my other options? My great grandmother on my dad's side is my family history. I don't drink a lot of caffeine and I eat healthy. What can cause this? Hormones? Is this common? Why do I get so many..they do not go away on their own, the one I have now has been there over 2 months. They've been 3-5 cm each when removed...is that big? I hate surgery...I miss work and I have to watch my husband cook, clean, and take care of our daughter....he's not bad at it, I just like to do everything on my own. Please help. Thank you for your quick response. :)
 Dr. Jeffrey Gordon - Sat May 17, 2003 8:10 pm

KC and Tony,

Could you provide me with more information about your prior breast surgeries? Were formal breast cancers found in the breats or were non-malignant breast cancer changes identified? Having such information would be very helpful in better understanding the overall picture of your current breast findings.

Stromal fibrosis or other terminology to describe various characterisitics of non-malignant breast findings is not in and of itself a precancerous lesion and does not in and of itself turn into a cancer. There are several breast tissue changes that are not formal breast cancers, but do increase the risk of a woman developing a breast cancer compared to a woman without such findings in the breast. These changes include atypical ductal hyperplasia, ductal carcinoma in situ, and lobular carcinoma in situ. Did any of your prior breast surgeries identify these features?

I do understand your concern about undergoing another breast surgery. It can be difficult on breast examination or standard mammogram to identify what is a cancer and what is not. That is why biopsies or surgeries are done, even though sometimes no cancer is found. However, if any of the above mentioned non-malignant breast abnormalities are found, then there may be the potential for using Tamoxifen to decrease the risk of a true breast cancer developing. I would recommend undergoing an ultrasound and a fine needle aspiration or needle biopsy. Based upon those results, then further Medical Oncology evaluation would be in order. If no cancer is identified, then one may consider a digital mammogram for better resolution or an MRI of the breast.
 kcntony - Sun May 18, 2003 11:43 am

Thank you for your response. My only diagnosis was stromal fibrosis. I have had a mammogram, sonogram, and fine needle aspriation since I posted the topic. It was not visible on the sonogram, the pathologist said that it looked like fibrosis, I haven't had the whole report, yet, I also have not heard anything about the mammo, either. I have never been diagnosed with the other things you mentioned. I just want to make the best educated decision that I can, since there are no drs that can tell me what to do...it is a very individual choice, as I'm sure you know. I look forward to hearing from you again.
 Dr. Jeffrey Gordon - Mon May 26, 2003 6:13 pm

I would recommend that in addition to talking further with your surgeon about surgery, you should seek the advice of a Medical Oncologist who is experienced with breast diseases. It sounds like, based upon what you post, that the prior breast findings were not malignant. Fibrocystic disease does not in and of itself become cancer. It is a common finding and can make the reading of a mammogram difficult because it can look like a cancer. Thus why biopsies and surgeries are done, but I understand yoru concern about undergoing another surgery. One may consider a different way to image the breast, such as MRI.

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