Do your breasts feel lumpy or especially painful around your menstrual cycle? You may be suffering from fibrocystic breast disease. Women with fibrocystic breasts experience lumpiness and often discomfort in one or both breasts due to small breast cysts or masses. While it may alarm you to feel lumps in your breasts, fibrocystic breast disease (FBD) is a very common and benign condition. In fact, FBD affects more than 60% of women between the ages of 30 and 50. If you have fibrocystic breasts, it will typically resolve after menopause because the condition is triggered by changes in female hormones or a hormonal imbalance.
If the fibrocystic breast is not harmful and can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers, is there anything to worry about? The primary concern with FBD is the fact that it can make it more difficult to accurately detect breast cancer. In fact, the lumps that develop in FBD can mimic and mask breast cancer. Therefore, it is extremely important that you have regular breast exams by your physician as well as routine mammograms. Your physician may want to monitor your breast health more closely if you have fibrocystic breasts.
The treatment of fibrocystic breast disease involves managing the pain or discomfort. However, it may also be remedied by correcting a hormone imbalance using birth control pills or other hormone therapy. Your physician will recommend a customized treatment plan for your specific symptoms.
If you feel new or changing lumps in your breast, never ignore it or dismiss it as harmless fibrocystic breast disease. Your physician needs to make a professional diagnosis, which can typically be done during a physical exam or ultrasound. Our physicians at North Pointe OB/GYN Associates are dedicated to providing the highest standard of women’s healthcare, which always includes addressing any concerns that you may have with your breasts.