Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
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
The diagnosis of fibrocystic breasts is complicated by the fact that the
condition can vary widely in its severity. In some women, the symptoms of
fibrocystic breast condition can be very mild with minimal
breast tenderness or
pain. The symptoms can also be limited in time, usually occurring only premenstrually. It may not even be possible to feel any lumps when the breasts
are examined by the woman herself or by her doctor. In other women with
fibrocystic breasts, the painful breasts and tenderness are constant, and many lumpy or
nodular areas can be felt throughout both breasts.
Picture of the anatomy of the breast
Is there a difference between fibrocystic breast condition and fibrocystic breast
No. In the past, fibrocystic breast condition was often called fibrocystic
breast disease. However, it is not a disease, but a condition. Most women tend
to have some lumpiness in their breasts. Therefore, it is now being more
appropriately termed fibrocystic breast condition. The abbreviation is FCC (an
acronym derived from FibroCystic breast Condition).
Other names that have been applied to fibrocystic breast condition include
mammary dysplasia, chronic cystic mastitis, diffuse cystic mastopathy, and
benign breast disease (a term that includes other benign breast disorders,
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on 2/1/2012