Fibrocystic Breast Condition
Fibrocystic Changes

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Fibrocystic breast condition facts

  • Fibrocystic breast condition is lumpiness in one or both breasts.
  • For some women, symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition include breast tenderness and breast pain.
  • Fibrocystic breast condition is a very common and benign condition.
  • Normal hormonal variation during the menstrual cycle is the primary contributing factor to fibrocystic breast condition.
  • Fibrocystic breast condition is a cumulative process that mainly affects women over 30 years of age.
  • The foremost concern is not fibrocystic breast condition itself but the threat of breast cancer.
  • The lumps in fibrocystic breast condition can mimic and mask breast cancer.
  • Recommended measures for women with fibrocystic breast condition include learning about the condition and its symptoms; having regular breast exams by a health care professional; and having regular mammograms.
  • Treatment of fibrocystic breast condition aims at the relief of breast pain and tenderness and correction of menstrual irregularities.

What are fibrocystic breasts?

Fibrocystic breasts are characterized by lumpiness and usually discomfort in one or both breasts. The lumpiness is due to small breast masses or breast cysts. The condition is very common and benign, meaning that fibrocystic breasts are not malignant (cancerous). Fibrocystic breast disease (FBD), now referred to as fibrocystic changes or fibrocystic breast condition, is the most common cause of "lumpy breasts" in women and affects more than 60% of women. The condition primarily affects women between the ages of 30 and 50, and tends to become less of a problem after menopause.

The diagnosis of fibrocystic breasts is complicated by the fact that the condition can vary widely in its severity.

Picture of the anatomy of the breast
Picture of the anatomy of the breast
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/16/2014

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Breast Pain Symptoms

Many women experience mild monthly breast pain in conjunction with their menstrual periods. For some women, however, the pain can be more severe. This premenstrual breast pain is referred to as cyclic breast discomfort.

Much less common causes of breast pain include benign growths in the breasts (including cysts such as in fibrocystic breast condition), breast cancer, and certain medications. Breast pain is called mastodynia, mastalgia, or mammalgia by physicians.