Patient Comments: Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Experience

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your fibrocystic breast condition?

Comment from: k80dryden, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast condition when I was a college student, at the age of 24. I was told by the physician, to eat a healthier diet, a low fat diet that included a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and to avoid caffeine. I have found that avoiding fatty foods along with moderate exercise and consequently losing 10 to 15 pounds has relieved my breast swelling and pain. When the pain is gone all of the fears of getting breast cancer go away with it! However, all of my fears are not gone because I have never had a mammogram. At the age of 27, after graduating college and finally being able to afford medical insurance, I was told that I was too young to get a mammogram and to wait until I was 40 years old. I was also told that worrying about getting cancer was causing undue stress and that I had no more chance of getting breast cancer than any other healthy young woman. I weighed 169lbs when I was diagnosed. I am now 39 years old, 5'8" tall, and weigh about 145 to 155 lbs. Every time that I have gained weight the breast pain and swelling has returned. Now, I am no longer employed and have no health insurance and have never had a mammogram, a biopsy, or breast exam, other than a self-exam. The thing that worries me is that two of my aunts were diagnosed and survived breast cancer and my paternal grandmother had to have her left breast removed and that is the exact breast that hurts me the most. The good news is: she beat her breast cancer and died of old age at 91 years old!

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Comment from: Suzanne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 19

At 30 I found a lump in my left breast while doing my monthly personal exam. I went to the doctor and while she was convinced it would be fine, she sent me to have a sonogram. The radiologist took one look at the images and ordered a biopsy. Three nervous weeks later, I was diagnosed with 2 small cysts and told not to worry about it. This past summer came the pain; it hurt to put on a bra. I went back to the doctors, and now they want to remove the cysts. I'm not so sure how I feel about it. After all my 94 year old maternal grandmother has been living with this since she was in her 40s.

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Comment from: Liz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

Ladies, check the ingredients of all your moisturizing products for parabens, such as methylparaben. These are "estrogen mimickers" that provoke fibrocystic breast condition. Eliminating these from my life has almost eliminated my condition, which is otherwise very severe. When my condition flares up, it always is because I have changed face or body moisturizers and the ingredients were not fully disclosed on the bottle (although they will be listed on the box or on the company's website). After researching, I will find they contain parabens. Look for very long words whose second half is "-paraben." It's not easy. Practically every lotion has this ingredient. The Aveeno oatmeal lotion does not have it. For my face cream, I currently am making my own from pure shea butter, avocado oil, etc. because I cannot afford the expensive products that don't have parabens. Eliminating parabens from my regimen is what has enabled me to live without fibrocystic breasts!

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Comment from: Melissa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

You guys have been a big help. I am 26 now, but my breast started feeling heavy around 19, but I didn't think anything of it because it came before my monthly cycle and would leave about a week later. Finally around 21 it started being really consistent and my breast were always hard in a certain area finally I went to my doctor. Who sent me to a lab because I have small breast and could not get a regular mammogram. That's when the tech told me it was fibrocystic and I was ok. No one told me what it was or what it derives from. I am a heavy coffee drinker and have been drinking coffee since I was 9. I drink about 5 cups a day. No soda etc. just coffee. Now that I know it's probably the cause, I will try and cut back. It will be really hard but it's nice to hear from women who understand.

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Comment from: Mandy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I had a huge cyst in one breast at 15 years old and since then, it very quickly progressed to fibrocystic disease in both breasts. I am now 48 years old and have had many years of indescribable pain. I have tried cutting out caffeine but there was no change at all. Evening primrose oil does help slightly. I have cysts on a regular basis and have been to the hospital many times with leakage and suspect lumps. What worries me most is that if I did have a cancerous lump, I would never find it! It is such a painful condition and I feel that many people do not realize how much agony we are in. Here's hoping that someone someday will come up with a cure.

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Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Diagnosis Question: How was your fibrocystic breast condition diagnosed?
Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, have you received for your fibrocystic breast condition?
Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Breast Cancer Risk and Concerns Question: If you have fibrocystic breasts, are you worried about developing breast cancer? Please share your concerns.

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