What Is Fibrocystic Breast Disease?

These days the term fibrocystic breast changes is used rather than fibrocystic breast disease, because the condition is not, in fact, a disease. Many premenopausal women have fibrocystic breasts. The condition causes the appearance and disappearance of small, non-cancerous lumps in the breasts.

What are the symptoms of fibrocystic breast changes?

Symptoms of fibrocystic breast changes include breast tenderness, swelling, and sometimes nipple discharge. Women with fibrocystic breasts are not at an increased risk of breast cancer. Women with this condition should continue to perform breast self-examinations to become familiar with the breast’s texture and which areas feel lumpy or tender.

When should a woman see a doctor?

If a woman is experiencing extreme discomfort or finds an unusual lump a physician visit should be scheduled right away. Fibrocystic changes themselves do not require any treatment. The important thing is to make sure that the tenderness, lump or nipple discharge could be due to something more serious.

What causes fibrocystic breast changes?

The exact cause is not known. Most studies point to hormonal changes produced by the ovaries fore or during a menstrual cycle can cause a woman’s breasts to feel tender, lumpy, and swollen. For this reason, a woman may experience cyclic fibrocystic breast changes.

Who gets fibrocystic breast changes?

Around 50% of women suffer from this condition. Women between 20-45 years of age are the typical candidates for these changes. Women who have heavy periods may experience worse symptoms. Women using oral birth control may have fewer symptoms.

Can symptoms be treated?

Women may wish to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Applying a hot or cold compress to the breast may also help. Wearing a well-fitting bra can also ease symptoms. Some holistic health practitioners recommend magnesium, thiamine, vitamin E and evening primrose oil to ease symptoms. These symptoms are typically temporary and pass very quickly.