Fibrocystic Breast Condition - Treatment

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What kinds of treatment, including medication, have you received for your fibrocystic breast condition?

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What are the treatments for fibrocystic breast condition?

The treatments for fibrocystic breast condition are directed at the individual components of the condition, including the relief of symptoms (such as breast pain and tenderness) and the correction of hormonal irregularities:

  1. Relief of symptoms: Some simple measures, such as adequate support of the breasts and perhaps wearing a bra at night, may provide relief from many of the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition. Anti-inflammatory medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol and otehrs) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), often reduce the breast pain significantly.

  2. There are reports suggesting that a variety of vitamins may be of benefit in relieving the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition. These have included vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and vitamin A, among others. In general, the rationale for using these vitamins is unclear and is not based on duplicated, controlled clinical studies. The exception may be vitamin E where, at least in some studies, there appears to be a measurable benefit for some patients.
    Another food supplement that has been claimed to be of some benefit in clinical studies is Oil of Primrose. This substance contains certain essential fatty acids that allegedly benefit some fibrocystic breast condition patients by reducing their breast pain. There is no evidence showing any correction (resolution) of the microscopic cellular abnormalities with use of this substance, but some women experience symptom relief with this supplement.
  3. Hormonal irregularities: Some women with very irregular menstrual cycles seem to progressively suffer more severe fibrocystic breast condition. This tendency is most likely due to the prolonged and irregular hormonal stimulation of the breasts. In these patients, it is sometimes helpful to establish menstrual cycle regularity with oral contraceptives. Regular cycles seem to allow the breast tissue to recover more completely at the end of each menstrual cycle.

  4. In patients who have had a hysterectomy and who are on hormone therapy, it may be helpful to be "off estrogen" for five days during each monthly cycle rather than remain on continuous estrogen. Again, this schedule is designed to avoid the continuous stimulation of the breast tissues by estrogen. It is important that any such hormone regulation be under the direct supervision of a physician.
    Certain common hormonal (endocrine) abnormalities, such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, may contribute to fibrocystic breast condition. Since these conditions may aggravate the symptoms of fibrocystic breast condition, they should be diagnosed and treated.
  5. Studies have shown some benefit from the short term use of the antiestrogenic drug Tamoxifen in relieving breast pain. However, tamoxifen (Nolvadex) use may be associated with a number of adverse effects, especially in postmenopausal women, and its use should be limited to the short term. Likewise, the androgenic steroid drug danazol (Danocrine) has also been shown to reduce breast pain and nodule size in women with fibrocystic breast condition. Danazol is also associated with a number of serious side effects. Both of these medications may be considered for use in women with severe cyclical breast pain due to fibrocystic condition.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Kell, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I have had cysts for my entire adult life. I have pain more often than not. I have had them drained twice and know the walls of my cyst are thick. I got an infection a month ago and that brought this entire situation to a head. I am consulting with a plastic surgeon and have already consulted with a breast surgeon and the only thing they can do at this time is a double mastectomy with a reconstruction. I have already done the no caffeine, primrose, etc. I am really considering this due to the fact that it is affecting my life on every level.

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Comment from: Leenylewis, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I am now 52 and I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast condition back in my thirties. I just recently had a mammogram and sure enough I got a call from my doctor saying that I needed an ultrasound. I started having regular mammograms at 35 because my mom had breast cancer so every time I get a call back it is unnerving. The radiologist put my mind at ease and said these cysts never turn to cancer, but I wished I knew why they keep recurring year after year. I have never had any kind of treatment except for careful watching year after year.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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