Are All Breast Fibroids Benign for Cancer?
Fibrous breast tissue cancer is unlikely because breast fibroids are non-cancerous growths. Unfortunately, fibroids can increase the chance of developing breast cancer because the presence of breast fibroids are the result of cells not responding correctly to the body's signals that control cell division and growth. Remember though, the statement is fibroids "can", not "will" increase your risk of cancer.
Diagnosing Benign Fibrous Breasts
Fibrous breast tissue is moveable and not attached to any other tissue. If you feel any lumps at all, it is best to let a doctor tell for sure what they think. If have you do have a lump your doctor will first physically feel the lumpy area in your breast. If this is your first time for a lump they may send you for a mammogram and an ultrasound. If there are more than one lump felt or seen on the tests you may have to go for a biopsy to be absolutely positive that you have normal breast fibroids.
Fibroid breast tumors are a part of fibrous breast tissue but because normal breast fibroids can sometimes feel similar to a cancerous tumor your doctor may opt for further testing. A needle biopsy is the most probable choice. This will leave a scar about as big as a needle punch. Fibroid breast tumors never turn into cancer and, if they are not bothersome or disfiguring, they can be left in place. Breast self exams should be done monthly and if you notice any changes in the fibrous breast tissue you should notify your doctor.
Fibrous breast tissue can mean that you are more likely to develop breast cancer. There are different types of fibrous breast tissue conditions and they are only identifiable under a microscope. If there are many disturbances of the breast tissue or a number of cysts in the fibrous breast tissue, it could mean that there is an over-proliferation of normal cells. This would be termed as hyperplasia, an abnormal multiplication of cells. If these cells appear abnormal they will be described as "atypical". Over time, atypical cells can spread out and build-up. This is "atypical hyperplasia", and is associated with a slightly elevated risk of someday developing breast cancer.
Every woman is different, and with the complexity of the hormonal systems no one can really tell why some women with fibrous breast tissue will get breast cancer and some will not. Some doctors will avoid a breast biopsy and want to follow the normal breast fibroids over time. The final decision on whether or not to do further testing will be based on family history. If your mother or sister has a history of breast cancer a biopsy will most likely be offered as a choice to you.
If you find that you have fibrous breast tissue, cancer is not a definite outcome for you. You may not have any problems at all. Keep up with your monthly self breast exams and get a mammogram yearly. Catching breast cancer early is the goal, if you do your checks regularly, you will know what your breasts feel like and you will know when to call your doctor.