Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Experience

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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
Return to Fibrocystic Breast Condition

See what others are saying

Comment from: diane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

I am 47 years old and have had fibrocystic breast for many years and I can't even tell people how painful its gets. My breasts are always hurting. Sometimes I feel like a big baby when I tell the doctor about the pain, and they don't believe you. I have fluid filled cysts that pop out like a 3rd breast; I am always getting them drained. I had one drained so many times. The doctor removed it whole and removed the roots. I will never have that done ever again. I want to have my breasts removed so badly, but if you can still get them on the chest wall what good is that! But maybe they are less painful.

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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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