Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Background 

Fibrocystic breast disease is a benign( non cancerous) condition of the breast disease in which patients suffers from abnormal pain and  vague lump in the breast. It’s a non-cancerous condition and is not harmful or dangerous but can be bothersome for some women. Many women with fibrocystic breast will not have any symptom. 

Breast categorised as fibrocystic are considered normal and it is not at all uncommon to have this condition, more than half of the women will experience this at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Breast cyst may be found in one or both the breast. Common symptoms include

  • Abnormal thickening or hardness of Breast 
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness ( pain on touch ) 
  • Vague continuous or cyclical pain
  • Lumps in one or both the breast

Due to hormonal changes your symptoms might be worst just before your period but you may have symptom throughout the month.

The size of the lump tends to fluctuate throughout the month and usually found to be more fixed at one place. 

You may also experience pain in your underarms or have a green or dark brown discharge from nipples.

Causes of Fibrocystic Breast Disease

The exact cause of fibrocystic breast is not known but it is suspected that reproductive hormones like estrogen play a role. 

You may also feel lumpy thickening in your breast due to excess growth of fibrous tissue. 

Lumps may be developed due to cysts and swelling of your breast lobules. 

Diagnosis and investigations of Fibrocystic Breast  

Diagnosis is mainly done through physical examination by your surgeon. Any we always suggest the breast lumps should never be ignored. After examination you will be advised  for ultrasound of the breast to mainly differentiate between the cystic lump or solid lump disease of the breast. Aspiration biopsy is suggested to rule out any cancerous lesion of the breast. In high suspicion of cancer, magnetic resonance imaging of the breast is also advised to confirm the diagnosis and know the extent the extent of the disease. 

Treatment for Fibrocystic Breast Disease

The treatment of the fibrocystic diseases of the breast depends upon the pathology of the breast disease. The benign small lumps are usually managed with medical management. Fibroadenoma are surgically managed by excision. Long standing fibroadenosis or breast cyst will require lumpectomy. Breast cancers are usually managed with cancer management protocols. 

Medical and supportive measures 

  1. You can also try wearing a well fitted and supportive bra to reduce the pain and tenderness
  2. Medications to relieve pain and supplementation of antioxidants  capsules are effective to relieve the pain and inflammation. 
  3. Some women try cold or hot therapy which ever works best for them to relieve their symptoms. 
  4. Life style changes such as limiting caffeine intake, eating low fat diet, or taking essential fatty acid supplements will reduce the symptoms.
  5. Hormonal replacement therapy (Pills containing hormones) may be effective in cases with females having hormonal imbalance. 

Symptoms are likely to disappear once you reach menopause as the fluctuation and production of these hormones decreases and stabilises. 

To consult with best team of general and minimal access surgeons available at The Surgeons House (SHL) in different global locations, please click this link for more details. 

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