Fibrocystic breast disease is a very common condition that typically affects women between the ages of 20 and 45. It is also sometimes referred to as fibrocystic breast changes or fibrocystic breasts. Although the exact cause isn’t known, many experts believe that fluctuations in reproductive hormones play a role.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease Symptoms
Women with fibrocystic breast disease experience certain breast changes right before menstruation, and they typically fade right afterwards. Common symptoms include:
- A feeling of fullness or heaviness in the breasts.
- Pain or discomfort in both breasts or under the arms.
- Thick or lumpy breasts.
- A lump in the breast that becomes larger before each period and then shrinks afterward. The lump moves when pushed with your fingers, it isn’t stuck to the tissues around it.
Talking to Your Doctor
If you have any of the symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease, talk to your doctor. He or she will likely conduct a breast exam and ask about the changes you’ve noticed in your breasts. It’s important to note when you started noticing the symptoms and how they relate to your menstrual cycle. Additional testing may be necessary to rule out any other conditions and could include a breast ultrasound or a mammogram.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease Treatment
Fibrocystic breast disease is not dangerous and doesn’t usually increase risk for breast cancer. If you have mild symptoms, treatment is not usually necessary; home remedies including over-the-counter medication, a heating pad and a high quality supportive bra can help to alleviate discomfort. For more severe cases, your physician may recommend hormones in the form of birth control pills.
Take Care of Your Breasts
If you have fibrocystic breast disease, continue to monitor your breast health through regular breast self-exams and annual mammograms. If you haven’t had your mammogram yet this year, stop by The Breast Center of Maple Grove. Our convenient location is open Monday through Friday 7:30am-5:00pm with extended hours for mammograms on Tuesdays from 7:00am-8:00pm. No time to make an appointment? No problem! We can accommodate walk-in patients.