It’s estimated that up to 60% of all women 30-50 years old suffer or have suffered from fibrocystic breast disease.
The word “disease” is actually somewhat misleading and some physicians prefer to call it firbrocystic breast changes.
Other names for this condition include benign breast disease, mammary dysplasia, and diffuse cystic mastopathy. Many women may have this conditoin and not be aware of it.
What Are the Symptoms of Fibrocystic Breast Disease?
The most commonly reported symptom is breast discomfort. The breasts may also feel swollen. The pain is usually in both breasts and it may be steady or come and go. Other symptoms include a “cobblestone” consistency in the breasts and they may feel full and heavy.
Fluid filled cysts may be felt in the breasts; however, they should not be confused with a cancerous lump. Breast lumps should be looked at by a physician. Occasionally, there may be a discharge from the nipples and all sysmptoms are usually reported much worse just before the menstruation cycle.
What Causes Fibrocystic Breast Disease?
Unfortunately, the cause of this condition is not known. While it is believed that hormones have something to do with it, researchers have been unable to pinpoint an exact cost. This condition usually subsides in women after menopause, which also lends creditbility to a hormonal influence.
There are some risk factors that seem to play a roll in developing the condition. A diet high in fat and excessive caffeine intake is considered to make the condition worse by some physicians; however, there are other doctors who do not believe this is the case. There is also a strong correlation to hereditary issues.
Diagnosing Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Your physician will begin with a clinical breast exam. Masses found in the breast will move and may feel rubbery. They will change shape. A diagnostic mammogram or a breast ultrasound may be needed to rule out any other problems.
Many physicians believe that reducing fat intake to only 25% of the total intake of calories each day may help. Cutting the caffeine out may also produce resutls. A bra that fits well and provides good support is also important. Low heat pads may also help reduce the discomfort.
Birth control pills are often perscribed, as the hormones in these pills can often help reduce the swelling and pain. There are also a couple of other medications, but they are usually only used as a last resort.
There are also some herbal rememdies, such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, and evening primrose oil. While the effectiveness of herbal remedies has not been proven, you may want to speak with your docotr.
Check Every Lump with Your Physician
Fibrocystic breast disease can be a painful and embarrassing conditon for many people. It can also be somewhat scary. Some women believe they have breast cancer and don’t realize that these cysts are not cancerous. No matter what size or type of lump you feel in your breast, make sure it is checked out by your doctor.
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