Patients share their story
Echotherapy for fibroadenoma
Every patient’s history is unique: read reports from echotherapy patients and find out why they chose high intensity focussed ultrasound (echotherapy).
Janine, 39 years
«The tension is completely gone. »
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«When I was 14 I was diagnosed with a lump. At first I was told that it was a fatty cyst. During my periods it became firmer and also unpleasant. But I didn’t think that it would had to be removed. And when I realised it was nothing serious it was clear for me that I was going to leave it in there. I didn’t want my breast touched for this. I don’t know exactly how big the lump was at that time, but you could see it at any rate. Later on it was noticed by my partner but I just spoke openly about it. I went around with it for a long time, until I was about 30 years old, when my gynecologist said: it needs to be taken out. The lump had probably grown to 3.5 cm and she thought it could be something serious. I then underwent a biopsy and I was told it was a fibroadenoma which was benign and would remain benign. At that time, I had definitely decided against an operation.
I then read in the newspaper, by chance, that a fibroadenoma can be reduced in size by echotherapy without surgery. I said to myself: no general anesthetic and no surgery – I’ll have this. Even though I had no difficulties with the lump, I still thought it was better to be treated as long as surgery wasn’t involved. I then found out more information at the echotherapy center and made an appointment.
On the day of the treatment I was very warmly welcomed. I had no concerns because I knew that nothing much could happen. The doctors had informed me very well beforehand. I could have had a tranquilizer injection but I decided against it. I have no problem lying still. This is important since if you move, the machine shuts down for safety reasons and it takes a little longer as it has to be restarted. When ultrasounds are applied it’s a little warm, it pinches a little but it’s not really a problem. And I am quite sensitive to pain but it was only a little pinch. Straight after the treatment I was able to do everything, I didn’t need to be particularly careful about anything and I was able to put my bra on again as normal. You could see a small bruise but that was all.
Before the treatment I hadn’t examined the fibroadenoma again myself at all. I knew that it was nothing serious so I wasn’t interested in it. But then some time after the treatment I noticed that it had clearly reduced in size.
The fibroadenoma has now become significantly smaller. Of the 3.5 cm there is probably still 1 cm. The tension has completely gone. The tissue also feels completely different; it’s no longer firm but soft. It is simply more pleasant.
I would definitely do it again; when it gets to a certain size it makes a lot of sense.»
Monika, 32 years
«I was able to play with my son again as usual straight after the treatment and take him in my arms. That was very important for me.»
«I discovered the lump by chance. It was in 2009, I was lying in bed at night and turned onto my side. I put my hand on the side of my breast and suddenly felt it. I was really afraid. I knew that it could be cancer and that I needed to have it examined.
Initially my gynecologist did an ultrasound scan and after that she said that she was quite sure that there was nothing to worry about. But I was so afraid that I had a biopsy done anyway.
When it was clear that it was a fibroadenoma, my gynecologist told me that it could be removed but she also thought that during pregnancy that would change because of the hormones. I was sure that I wanted a child and thought that I would wait and the lump would probably shrink. I am so afraid of operations that I would do anything to avoid surgery! I couldn’t help but checking the lump the whole time to see if it was changing. I was very scared.
Then my son was born and for a long time I didn’t notice any change in the lump. I didn’t breast feed, it just didn’t happen. Some time after the birth I started to take the pill for the first time in my life. This was actually just because I had skin problems. It worked great for that but the fibroadenoma suddenly appeared to have grown a lot. During a routine examination my gynaecologist told me that it had become much bigger. I think it was 3.6 cm. And then she really pushed me to have it removed. I didn’t want this at any cost. Apart from the fact that I was so afraid of the operation, my son was now there and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be fit after the operation and couldn’t be there for him. He loves to have a cuddle and to play; I wouldn’t have been able to do that. So I tried to delay the operation but it became clear that it needed to be done. I had already made an appointment for the operation. At the time I almost went mad and thought I wouldn’t be able to go through with it.
I had already been looking for other treatment options. On the internet I saw something about echotherapy – I was really thrilled. I understood that this was not an operation and I felt able to go through with it. I called my echotherapy center, cancelled the operation and took an appointment for echotherapy treatment.
Just before the treatment I wondered whether it would really work that well and on the day I was very nervous. Then I thought: what would it have been like with an operation if I was so afraid as I was? I had to lie on my side and the machine was placed on the outside of my breast, on the skin. From time to time I felt a prick, that was all. It was all over in about an hour. My breast was a little swollen and when the anesthetic wore off I had a burning sensation. But I experienced no pain at all. I was able to play with my son again as usual straight after the treatment and hold him in my arms. That was very important for me. I was thrilled that I hadn’t needed an operation.
Within a month or so, I felt that the fibroadenoma had decreased in size. And after four months I was with my gynaecologist and she said that it was now only 1.1 cm, smaller than a pea! The gynaecologist was delighted with the result and I was totally satisfied: the fibroadenoma really had shrunk much more quickly than I had expected. I would choose this option again without hesitation.»
Saskia, 19 years
«I was afraid that the lump would continue to grow as I had already noticed that it had gotten bigger and bigger. It didn’t look pretty.»
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«I was always having pain. I was about 16. The pains were quite irregular and at one stage I went to the doctor’s office. Of course I was worried that it might be cancer. It’s not funny when you don’t know what it is. My mother was also around and was worried. The doctor identified a lump and I got an appointment with the hospital for a core biopsy. I was then told that it was a fibroadenoma.
I was afraid that the lump would continue to grow as I had already noticed that it had gotten bigger and bigger. By that time it was also visible. It was particularly prominent when lying down. It didn’t look pretty! The lump was 3.9 cm in size, I think. I thought it was bound to get really bad at some stage. That’s why I wanted the lump treated at all cost. The doctor said that it could be removed quickly. I didn’t want it cut out, though, as my scars never heal well. I had also been epileptic when I was younger and don’t react well to anaesthetic, which were all reasons against an operation.
Then my mother found something on the Internet about echotherapy and told me about it.
I was comforted in that no scars or wrinkles are left after echotherapy and that one breast doesn’t look any different from the other afterwards. It was quite clear to me that I wanted to have this done.
But on the day of the treatment I was quite nervous, as I didn’t really know whether I would be in pain. There was some tugging at a particular point during the treatment. It did hurt, but only for a short time.
After the treatment I had a couple of bruises but that was not so bad. I did all the things I normally do every day.
I then noticed for the first time that the lump had shrunk and at the follow-up examination after six months it was visible that it had already halved in size. And now it also looks better. I thought it was good that there were no scars and no wound which could have become infected.
On the other side I have another fibroadenoma and would also like to have this treated using echotherapy.»»
Claudia, 33 years
«Unconsciously, it is troublesome to know it is there, maybe growing. This feeling has disappeared now and it is a great relief.»
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«At the beginning of 2013, whilst inspecting my breast, I discovered a nodule. At this time I had never heard about fibroadenoma, so I was afraid that it was something more serious. Subsequently, I asked for the advice of a gynecologist. After the ultrasound, he confirmed that it was not cancer but probably just a fibroadenoma. To eliminate any doubt, I also had a biopsy undertaken on the lump. At this time, it was not a cause for concern, as it was a rather small lump which wasn’t visible and that was not painful.
Over the following 3 or 4 months I had it monitored and discovered that it had grown rapidly. When the ultrasound confirmed that it had become large, the doctor advised me that it should be removed. I wondered how they were going to remove it. The thought of a surgical procedure cutting open my breast and removing the fibroadenoma was a rather shocking thought for me.
During this time, the fibroadenoma had become very big. It was now visible when I was wearing necklines. Then I read an article on echotherapy, and sent a request for more information to the center about it. At that time, echotherapy was a relatively new technology, but I had no concern as I thought this ultrasound technique would be much more preferable rather than surgery and the thought of irreversible scars and potential cavities in my breast.
I decided to arrange an appointment with the echotherapy center. The treatment was not unpleasant, only the lying position without moving was a little uncomfortable. The procedure lasted about one hour, I thought it would be worse! My appointment was on a Friday and I went home immediately after the procedure, my breasts were slightly swollen and a bit warm but otherwise everything was normal.
After one or two weeks, the fibroadenoma started to shrink and has continued becoming smaller and smaller since then. Now, it is only 2 cm. I cannot feel it anymore and it is not painful. I would recommend the treatment with echotherapy, even if the fibroadenoma is not physically painful. Unconsciously, it is troublesome to know it is there, maybe growing. This feeling has disappeared now and it is a great relief. My gynecologist also declares that surgery would have not been done so well and that there would have been scars. I am thus very happy. I am also surprised that echotherapy is not yet widely available.»
The testimonials above represent personal patients’ experiences. These personal experiences are not guaranteed and can vary according to the situation or the person.